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*iiyjilL!A  CAKfWRIGHT;-* 



3  1822  00593  3361 


Central  University  Library 

University  of  California,  San  Diego 
Please  Note:  This  item  is  subject  to  recall. 

Date  Due 


DEC  0  2  199^ 



MAR  0  6  1995 


JAN  2  6  N95 

MAY  1  0  ZOOt — 

1^15"  ip 

V,  2. 

CI  39  (7/93) 

UCSD  Lib. 



the  13th  to  the  i6th  Centuries.     Illustrated, 

MANTUA,  1474- 1539.  A  Study  of  the 
Renaissance.     With  Illustrations.     2  vols. 

THE  PILGRIMS'  WAY.  From  Winchester  to 
Canterbury.  With  8  Coloured  and  numerous 
other  Illustrations  by  A.  H.  Hallam  Murray. 


FECT COURTIER.  His  Life  AND  Letters, 
1478-1529.    With  numerous  Illustrations.    2  vols. 

OF  MILAN  AND  LORRAINE,  1522-90. 
With  Illustrations. 


OF  FAWSLEY,  1850-84.     With  Illustrations. 

Central  University  Library 

University  of  California,  San  Diego 

Please  Note:  This  item  is  subject  to  recall 
after  two  weeks. 

Date  Due 

nri"^    r.          ,- 

'      V.  ._ 

^'^'  11  1990 

CI  39  (1/90)                                                                  UCSDUb. 

.-l.znJ^icUJ%jC  ;i*%..e/tf. 






"  La  prima  donna  del  mondoJ" 


"  D'opere  illustri  e  di  bet  studi ^mica, 
Cli  io  non  so  ben  se  piii  leggiadra  e  bella, 
Mi  debba  dire,  0  piii  saggia  e  pudica 
Liberate  e  magnajiima  Isabella." 





First  Edition 
Second  Edition 

Cheaper  Edition 

Reprinted  , 

February  1903 
September  1 903 
November  1 904 
May  1907 
November  191 1 
November  1915 
Februarv  1923 


i'i'miyi^i"iSI,^.\Sf,f*'-IFORNIA    SAN  OIEGO 

1822  00593  3361 





Cristoforo  Romano's  letters — Caradosso's  cup  and  inkstand 
— Cristoforo  in  Rome — The  Cupid  of  Praxiteles  acquired 
for  Isabella's  studio — Cristoforo  at  Naples — Isabella's 
medals  shown  to  the  Queens— Cristoforo's  love  for 
Urbino — His  death  at  Loreto — Sabbi  da  Castiglione, 
Knight  of  S.  John — Sabb4  in  Rhodes — His  passion  for 
antiques  and  letters  to  Isabella — Travels  in  the  Isles  of 
Greece — Antique  marbles  and  medals  sent  to  Mantua 
— He  returns  to  Italy  and  writes  his  memoirs  .  .      1-19 



Isabella's  library  in  the  Grotta — Her  relations  with  Aide 
Manuzio — Letters  of  Lorenzo  da  Pavia  and  of  Aldo — 
The  Aldine  editions  of  classics — Isabella's  letters  to 
Aldo — He  is  thrown  into  prison  on  Mantuan  territory 
— Letter  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian  to  Isabella  on  his 
behalf — Death  of  Aldo  Manuzio — Lorenzo  da  Pavia's 
last  letters  to  Isabella — His  joui*ney  to  Rome  and 
death      .......  20-30 



War  of  the  League  of  Cambray — Defeat  of  the  Venetians 
at    Vaila — Capture    of  the    Marquis    of    Mantua    near 



Legnago — His  imprisonment  at  Venice — Isabella  ad- 
ministers the  Government  —  Her  efforts  to  obtain 
Francesco's  release — Leonora  goes  to  Urbino — Presents 
of  Isabella  to  the  Bishop  of  Gurlc  and  Queen  of  France 
— The  Pope  grants  absolution  to  Venice  and  obtains 
the  release  of  Francesco  Gonzaga — Federico  sent  as 
hostage  to  Rome — His  life  at  the  Vatican  and  visits  to 
Bulogna  and  Urbino       .....   31-49 



The  Pope's  campaign  against  Ferrara — Isabella's  anxiety 
to  restore  peace — The  Bishop  of  Gurk  at  Mantua — 
Bologna  captured  by  the  French  —  The  Uuke  of 
Urbino  murders  Cardinal  Alidosi — Dangerous  illness 
of  the  Pope — His  recovery  ascribed  to  Federico's  in- 
fluence— Death  of  Isabella's  pet  dog.  Aura — The  Holy 
League  against  France — Victory  and  death  of  Gaston 
de  Foix  at  Ravenna — The  French  driven  out  of  Italy — ■ 
Federico  at  the  Vatican — The  Belvedere  Apollo  and 
Tiber  statue — Visit  of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  to  Rome    .   50-64 



The  Congress  of  Mantua — The  Viceroy  of  Naples,  Bishop  of 
Gurk,  and  Giuliano  dei  Medici  at  Mantua — Maximilian 
Sforza  declared  Duke  of  Milan  by  the  allies — Isabella's 
intrigues  in  his  favour — The  Medici  restored  by  Spanish 
troops — Sack  of  Prato  and  return  of  Giuliano  and 
Giovanni  dei  Medici  to  Florence — Congratulations  of 
Isabella — Her  intrigues  on  behalf  of  Ferrara — The 
Pope's  threats — Cardinal  Gurk  in  Rome — Carnival 
fetes  and  Fra  Mariano — Federico's  portrait  painted  by 
Raphael — Death  of  Julius  II. — Election  of  Pope  Leo 
X. — Bibbiena  becomes  a  Cardinal  .  .  .  65-79 





Isabella  spends  the  carnival  at  Milan — Duke  Maximilian 
Sforza — His  weakness  and  extravagance — The  Viceroy 
of  Naples  and  Cardinal  Gurk  at  Milan — Isabella  and 
her  ladies — Her  letter  to  the  Marquis  in  self-defence — 
Brognina  and  Alda  Boiarda  dismissed  from  her  service 
— Tebaldeo  attacks  Mario  Equicola  and  Isabella — In- 
dignation of  the  Marchesa — Her  letter  to  Cardinal 
d'Este — Duchess  Ehsabetta's  reply        .  ,  .  80-92 



Invasion  of  Lombardy  by  the  French — Their  defeat  by  the 
Swiss  at  Novara — Isabella's  journey  to  Milan  stopped 
by  the  illness  of  the  Marquis — Papal  intrigues  against 
Ferrara — Visit  of  Raimondo  de  Cardona  to  Mantua — 
Journey  of  Isabella  to  the  Lago  di  Garda — Her  letters 
from  Lonato,  Sermione,  and  Sal6 — Trissino  presents 
his  "  Ritratti  "  to  her — Portrait  of  the  Marchesa  intro- 
duced— Visit  of  Isabella  to  Milan  and  Pavia      .  93-109 



Isabella's  visit  to  Rome  —  Her  reception  by  Cardinal 
Bibbiena  and  Giuliano  dei  Medici — Fetes  in  her  honour 
— Representation  of  "  La  Calandria  "  in  the  Vatican — 
Her  visit  to  Naples — Leo  X.  keeps  her  in  Rome  for 
the  carnival — Her  return  to  Mantua  and  regrets  for 
Rome — Francis  I.  attacks  Milan — Victory  of  Marignano 
— Abdication  of  Maximilian  Sforza — Federico  Gonzaga 
at  the  French  Court — Death  of  Giuliano — Conquest  of 
Urbino  by  Lorenzo  dei  Medici — Flight  of  the  Duke 
and  Duchesses  to  Mantua  .  ,  .  110-128 





The  Duchesses  of  Urbino  live  in  great  poverty  at  Mantua — 
Raphael's  dishes  melted  down — Marriage  of  Castiglione 
— Francesco  Maria  tries  to  recover  Urbino,  but  is 
forced  to  make  terms  with  the  Pope — Isabella's  journey 
to  Provence — Betrothal  of  Federico  Gonzaga  to  Maria 
di  Montferrato  —  Isabella's  Latin  studies  —  Visit  of 
Contarini  and  Soranzo  to  the  Castello  —  Cristoforo 
Solari  at  Mantua — Fra  Francesco  at  Porto — Bandello 
the  novelist — His  relations  with  the  Marchesa  and 
pictures  of  her  court  ....         129-153 



Death  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian — Of  the  Marquis  Fran- 
cesco Gonzaga — His  death-bed  and  funeral — Proclama- 
tion of  his  son  Federico — Death  of  Lucrezia  Borgia — 
Of  Isabella's  secretary,  Capilupi  —  Mario  Equicola 
succeeds  him — Death  of  Lorenzo  de  Medici,  Duke  of 
Urbino  —  Mission  of  Castiglione  to  Rome  —  Urbino 
annexed  to  the  Papal  States  —  Raphael  designs  a 
tomb  for  the  Marquis  Francesco  —  His  picture  for 
Isabella  —  Portrait  of  Federico  sent  to  Mantua — 
Mentioned  in  Charles  the  First's  inventories — Trial  of 
Longueil  —  Pandolfo  Pico's  letter  on  the  death  of 
Raphael    ,.,,..         154-170 



Titian  visits  Mantua — Admires  Mantegna's  works — Visit  of 
the  papal  nuncio  Chiericati — His  letters  to  Isabella 
from  Spain  and  England — Description  of  the  court 
of  Henry  VIII. — Pilgrimage  to  Ireland,  and  strange 



adventures  —  The  sweating  sickness  in  London — 
Chiericati  helps  Isabella  to  restore  friendly  relations 
with  Charles  V. — Her  influence  and  that  of  Castiglione 
at  the  Vatican — Death  of  Ippolita  Torelli — Letters  of 
the  Marchesa  and  her  son  to  Castiglione — Death  of 
Cardinal  Bibbiena  .  .  .  .  171-187 



The  Court  of  Mantua  under  Federico — Visit  of  the  Marquis 
to  Venice — His  mistress,  Isabella  Boschetti — The 
Marchesa  goes  to  Loreto — The  Duke  of  Urbino  forced 
to  leave  Mantua — Federico  leads  the  papal  troops 
against  the  French — Capture  of  Milan — Retreat  of 
Lautrec — Death  of  Pope  Leo  X. — Cardinal  Gonzaga 
aspires  to  the  Papacy— Election  of  Adrian  VI. — Fran- 
cesco Maria  recovers  Urbino — Francesco  Sforza  returns 
to  Milan — Defence  of  Pavia  by  Federico,  and  defeat  of 
the  French — Isabella's  new  apartments  in  the  Corte 
Vecchia — The  Paradiso     ....  188-208 



Ercole  Gonzaga — Isabella  tries  to  obtain  his  elevation  to 
the  Cardinalate — Consults  Castiglione  and  Trissino  as 
to  the  choice  of  a  tutor — Sends  Ercole  to  Bologna — He 
attends  Pomponazzi's  lectures — The  great  sceptic — 
His  "Treatise  on  Immortality"  burnt  at  Venice — 
Ercole's  life  at  college — M.  Lazzaro  his  teacher — 
Death  of  Pietro  Pomponazzi — Veneration  of  Ercole 
Gonzaga  for  his  memory  ....  209-222 


1523 — 1525 

Castiglione  in  Rome — Pope  Adrian's  reforms — Chiericati  at 
the    Diet    of    Nurnberg — His    letters    to    Isabella — 



Journey  of  Magellan — Visit  of  Isabella  to  Venice — 
Nava<rero  and  Titian — Doge  Andrea  Gritti  enters  into 
an  alliance  with  Charles  V. — The  Pof)e  joins  the 
League — Death  of  Adrian  VI. — Election  of  Clement 
VII. — Castiglione  sent  to  Rome — Wars  of  Lombardy — 
The  Connetable  de  Bourbon  at  Mantua — Isabella  in 
Venice — Ferrante  Gonzaga  goes  to  Spain — Castiglione 
sent  by  the  Pope  to  Madrid — Giulio  Romano  at  Mantua 
— Isabella  Boschetti  ....         223-242 



Isabella  goes  to  Rome — Visits  Urbino  and  Loreto — Is  re- 
ceived by  the  Pope — Occupies  the  Palazzo  SS.  Apostoli 
— Death  of  Cardinal  Gonzaga  and  of  Duchess  Elisabetta 
of  Urbino — The  Imperialists  advance  southwards — 
Passage  of  the  Po,  and  death  of  Giovanni  delle  Bande 
Nere  at  Mantua — Lannoy  and  the  Pope  sign  a  truce — 
Bourbon  advances  against  Rome — The  Marquis  of 
Mantua  warns  the  Pope — Isabella  refuses  to  leave 
Rome — Fortifies  her  house,  and  gives  shelter  to  am- 
bassadors and  Roman  ladies — Ercole  Gonzaga  made  a 
Cardinal    .....  243-257 



Siege  of  Rome — Death  of  Bourbon — Rome  sacked  during 
three  days — Alessandro  and  Ferrante  Gonzaga  protect 
Isabella's  palace — Scenes  of  carnage  in  the  city — 
Cruelty  and  sacrilege  of  the  soldiers — Isabella  leaves 
Rome  for  Ostia — Returns  to  Mantua — Is  received  with 
great  joy  —  Escape  of  the  Venetian  ambassador — 
General  horror  at  the  capture  and  sack  of  Rome — 
Grief  of  Isabella's  friends — Letters  of  Bembo,  of 
Erasmus,  and  of  Sadoleto — Death  of  Castiglione  in 
Spain  .,,...         258-271 





Misery  of  Italy — Plague  in  Mantua — Federico's  buildings 
— Isabella's  Roman  antiquities  lost  on  the  voyage — 
Her  correspondence  with  the  Roman  dealer^  Raphael 
of  Urbiiio — Sebastiano  del  Piombo— Cardinal  Ercole's 
love  of  art  and  letters — Death  of  Emilia  Pia — Veronica 
Gambara  and  Correggio's  Magdalen — The  Allegories 
painted  by  Correggio  for  Isabella's  Studio — Titian 
visits  Mantua  and  paints  Isabella's  portrait — Copy  by 
Rubens  at  Vienna  ....  272-285 



Marriage  of  Ercole  d'Este  to  Renee  de  France — Isabella 
goes  to  Modena  to  receive  the  bride — Fetes  at  Ferrara 
— Character  of  Renee — Isabella's  regard  for  her  niece 
— Renee's  sympathy  with  French  and  Italian  reformers 
— Isabella's  toleration — Messibugo's  Book  of  Ercole's 
festival — Treaties  of  Barcelona  and  Cambray — Charles 
V.  lands  at  Genoa — Is  entertained  by  the  Duke  of 
Ferrara  on  his  way  to  Bologna — Ferrante  Gonzaga 
marches  against  Florence — Isabella  visits  Solarolo — 
Arrives  at  Bologna  for  the  Congress — State  entry  of 
Charles  V.  .....  236-303 



Illustrious  visitors  to  Bologna — Veronica  Gambara  and  the 
humanists — Isabella's  political  objects — Ferrante  Gon- 
zaga seeks  the  hand  of  Isabella  Colonna,  who  is  already 
wedded  to  Luigi  Rodomonte — Favour  shown  to  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua — Francesco  Sforza  receives  the  in- 
vestiture of  Milan — Proclamation  of  universal  peace — 
Florence  alone  excluded  from  the  League — Fetes  and 



balls  at  Christmas  and  Carnival — Cliarles  V.  receives 
the  iron  crown  of  Lonibardy  and  the  golden  crown  of 
the  Holy  Roman  Empire  from  the  Pope's  hands — 
Coronation  in  San  Petronio — The  Duke  of  Ferrara 
comes  to  Bologna,  and  is  reconciled  to  the  Pope  304^-322 



Charles  V.  at  Mantua — The  Marquis  Federico  created  Duke, 
and  betrothed  to  the  Infanta  Giulia — Capture  of  Flor- 
ence by  Ferrante  Gonzaga — Isabella  goes  to  Venice — 
Titian  employed  by  the  Duke  to  paint  a  Magdalen  for 
Vittoria  Colonna — Death  of  Bonifazio,  Marquis  of  Mon- 
ferrato — Federico  breaks  off"  his  contract  with  Donna 
Giulia,  and  asks  for  the  hand  of  Maria  di  Monferrato — 
Death  of  this  Princess — Federico  asks  for  her  sister 
Marjjherita's  hand — Goes  to  Casale  for  the  wedding — 
Giulio  Romano  adds  new  rooms  to  the  Castello — Isa- 
bella superintends  their  decoration,  and  receives  the 
bride  ......         323-343 



Isabella  at  Venice — Death  of  Margherita  Cantelma — Mar- 
riage of  Ferrante  Gonzaga  —  Duchess  Margherita 
Paleologa — Ariosto  and  Bernardo  Tasso  send  the  Mar- 
chesa  their  poems — Visit  of  the  Emperor  Charles  V. 
to  Mantua — Marriage  and  death  of  the  Marquis  of 
Monferrato — His  State  annexed  to  Mantua — Birth  of 
a  son  to  Duke  Federico — Titian  paints  Isabella's  por- 
trait from  the  original  by  Francia  .  .         344-357 



Relations  of  Isabella  with  Ferrara — Stabellino's  letters — 
Duchess  Renee  and  her  child  Anna  d'Este — Death  of 



Duke  Alfonso — Isabella's  trip  to  the  Lake  of  Garda — 
Her  favourite  dwarfs — The  government  of  Solarolo — 
Leonora  of  Urbino — Her  son  Guidobaldo's  marriage — 
Manufacture  of  embroidered  stuffs  and  caps  at  Mantua 
— Isabella's  majolica  dinner  services — Plates  in  the 
Museo  Correr  and  British  Museum — Cardinal  Gonzaga 
sends  his  mother  a  medal  of  Aristotle — Her  interest  in 
gardening — The  gardens  at  Porto — Trissino  begs  the 
help  of  her  gardener  at  his  villa  of  Cricoli  .         358-373 



Visit  of  Leonora,  Duchess  of  Urbino  to  Mantua — Titian's 
portraits  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess — Death  of  Fran- 
cesco Maria — Of  Francesco  Sforza,  Duke  of  Milan — Of 
Luigi  Rodomonte  and  Antonia  del  Balzo — Visit  of 
Pietro  Bembo — The  collections  of  the  Grotta — Paint- 
ings and  library  of  Isabella  d'Este — Vittoria  Colonna — 
Last  visit  of  Isabella  d'Este  to  Ferrara — Her  love  for 
her  grandchildren — Duke  Ercole  lends  her  his  palace 
at  Venice  —  Her  last  illness  and  death  —  Her  tomb 
in  S.  Francesco  destroyed  by  the  French — Death  of 
Duke  Federico — The  Mantuan  collections  sold  and  the 
Castello  sacked — Character  of  Isabella  d'Este      .         374-391 

INDEX  ,..,..         393 


Isabella  d'Este  .         .  >         .         .         .         .  Frontispiece 

From  the  Portrait  by  Titian,  in  the  Imperial  Museum, 
Vienna  {Photogravure) 

Sala.     Castello  di  Mantova       ....    To  face  page  20 

Leonora     Gonzaga,     Duchess    of    Urbino     (La 

Bella  di  Tiziano)  .....  „  128 

From  the  Portrait  by  Titian  in  the  Pltti  Gallery  [Photo- 

PoNTE  San  Giorgio     ...,,,  ,,146 

Fresco  or  Ceiling.     Sala  Degli  Sposi,  Mantua  ,,  172 

By  Andrea  Mantegna 

Paradiso.     Castello  di  Mantova         ...  „  206 

Elisabetta  Gonzaga,  Duchess  of  Urbino    ,         ,  „         250 

By  G.  Caroto 

Count  Baldassarre  Castiglionk  .         •  „         272 

From  the  Portrait  by  Raphael  in  the  Louvre  {Photo- 

Paradiso.     Castello  di  Mantova         ...  ,,         378 




Cristoforo  Romano's  letters — Caradosso's  cup  and  inkstand — Cristo- 
foro  in  Rome — The  Cupid  of  Praxiteles  acquired  for  Isabella's 
studio — Cristoforo  at  Naples — Isabella's  medal  shown  to  the 
Queens — Cristoforo's  love  for  Urbino — His  death  at  Loreto — 
Sabba  da  Castiglione,  Knight  of  S.  John — Sabba  in  Rhodes 
— His  passion  for  antiques  and  letters  to  Isabella — Travels  in 
the  Isles  of  Greece — Antique  marbles  and  medals  sent  to 
Mantua — He  returns  to  Italy  and  Avrites  his  memoirs. 

Chief  among  the  artists  in  Isabella's  service  who 
were  constantly  helping  her  to  acquire  new  treasures 
for  her  studio  was  the  sculptor  Cristoforo  Romano. 
The  incurable  malady  from  which  he  suffered  hindered 
his  own  work  and  obliged  him  to  seek  frequent  change 
of  air,  but  wherever  he  went  he  never  forgot  the 
interests  of  his  mistress,  and  his  letters  from  Milan, 
Bologna,  and  Rome  abound  in  allusions  to  the  antique 
marbles  and  richly  worked  cups,  gems,  and  medals 
which  he  advised  her  to  buy.  In  February  1502  we  find 
him  at  Venice  enjoying  the  company  of  his  friends 
Michele  Vianello  and  Lorenzo  da  Pavia.  On  his  return 
to  Mantua  he  fell  dangerously  iU,  and  in  August 
Isabella's  friend,  Margherita  Cantelma,  invited  the 
Marchesa  to  send  him  to  Ferrara  to  consult  a  clever 
physician,  Messer  Sebastiano  d' Aquila,  who  had  cured 

VOL.  II.  A 


her  husband,  Meyser  Sigismondo,  and  who  promised 
to  restore  him  to  healtli  in  a  few  days,  offering  to 
receive  him  in  her  own  house  and  nurse  him  herself. 
After  another  bad  attack  in  1505  he  went  to  stay  at 
Milan  with  Leonardo's  friend,  Marco  della  Torre,  and 
wrote  several  lively  letters  to  the  Marchesa  describ- 
ing the  change  which  lie  found  at  this  once  brilliant 
court,  and  saying  that  the  only  house  where  you  still 
meet  cultured  men  and  women  is  that  of  Madonna 
Margherita  di  San  Severino,  the  sister  of  EmiUa  Pia. 
But  the  air  has  already  done  him  good,  and  he  is 
busy  ordering  marbles  and  preparing  designs  for 
the  tomb  of  Suor  Osanna.  In  July  he  wrote  to  tell 
the  Marchesa  of  a  wonderful  bowl  in  the  shape  of 
a  wine-cooler,  which  that  rare  artist  Caradosso  had 
made  of  forty-nine  pieces  of  crystal  mounted  on  a 
richly  chased  stand  of  silver-gilt  and  enamel,  and  which 
she  must  have,  because  it  will  exactly  match  one 
that  is  already  in  the  Grotta.  But  she  must  on  no 
account  let  Caradosso  know  this  till  the  bargain  is 
concluded,  or  the  cunning  old  man  will  clap  on 
another  50  ducats.  As  it  is,  he  asks  a  high  price, 
and  has  already  refused  an  offer  of  300  ducats  from 
Bishop  Louis  Gonzaga.  When  Cristoforo  offered  400 
in  the  Marchesa  s  name  the  goldsmith  still  hesitated, 
but  offered  to  bring  it  to  Mantua  himself,  in  order 
that  Her  Excellency  might  see  for  herself  that  it  was 
not  a  matter  in  which  an  extra  50  ducats  or  so  was 
to  be  grudged.  "  But  Caradosso,"  the  sculptor  adds, 
"has  also  finished  the  most  perfectly  beautiful  ink- 
stand of  this  age  or  of  any  other.  He  asks  1000  ducats, 
and  if  you  had  to  give  10,000  I  should  advise  you  not 
to  let  it  go,  because  it  is  a  thing  absolutely  unique."  * 

*  A.  Bertolotti,  Artisti,  &c. ;  A,  Venturi,  Arch.  St.  d.  Arte,i.  Il6. 

AT   MILAN  8 

Ten  days  later  Crist  of oro  wrote  a^ain  to  tell  the 
Marchesa  that  the  Pope  had  invited  him  to  Rome, 
but  that  he  hoped  to  finish  his  design  before  leaving 
Milan,  and  wished  to  know  exactly  how  much  she 
was  prepared  to  spend  on  the  monument.  "  As  little 
as  possible  I "  he  imagines,  and  proceeds  to  suggest  a 
sum  of  150  ducats.  For  this  he  proposes  to  raise  a 
modest  tomb  with  the  saint's  sleeping  effigy  under  a 
black  marble  canopy,  crowned  with  bronze  putti  and 
candelabra,  and  supported  by  four  columns  of  white 
Carrara  marble,  poUshed  so  as  to  look  like  silver. 
This  graceful  design,  which  is  reproduced  in  the  Acta 
Sanctorum  of  the  BoUandists,  met  with  general  ap- 
proval at  Milan,  and  was  taken  to  the  Marchesa  in 
September  by  Caradosso  when  he  set  out  on  his 
journey  with  the  precious  cup  and  inkstand.  Mean- 
while, late  one  evening,  news  reached  Cristoforo  that 
his  friend,  Margherita  Cantelma,  was  lying  dangerously 
ill  at  Mortara,  some  miles  from  Milan,  and  that  her 
doctor,  Aquila,  refused  to  go  to  her  that  night.  "  I 
could  have  wished  myself  elsewhere ! "  he  wrote  to 
the  Marchesa,  "  but.  Madonna  Margherita's  life  being 
as  dear  to  me  as  it  is  to  you,  I  hastened  to  find 
Aquila,  and  forced  him  by  my  importunity  to  ac- 
company me  to  Mortara  at  midnight.  There  was  no 
moon,  so  we  had  only  lanterns  to  guide  us,  and  were 
nearly  drowned  in  the  Ticino,  and  when  at  length  we 
reached  Mortara  we  found  the  poor  lady  in  a  dying 
state.  But  with  great  rapidity  he  mixed  a  potion, 
which  had  the  most  marvellous  effect  and  brought 
her  back  from  death  to  life,  and  we  stayed  with  her 
four  days,  until  she  was  out  of  danger.  Now  we  hear 
that  she  is  improving  every  day.  She  was  only  skin 
and  bones,  poor  lady  I  but  she  asked  continually  after 


Your  Signory,  and  when  she  was  at  the  worst,  kept 
begging  me  to  find  some  pretty  present  to  send 

The  Marchesa  herself  was  ill  of  fever  at  the  time, 
but  wrote  on  the  27th  of  September  to  thank 
Cristoforo  for  his  services,  and  tell  him  that  she 
had  seen  Caradosso  and  greatly  admired  the  cup, 
but  found  it  too  large  for  her  studio,  and  was 
hoping  soon  to  see  the  inkstand,  wliich  was  not 
yet  quite  finished.^  "  If  you  go  to  Rome,"  she  adds, 
"  we  hope  you  will  present  yourself  to  His  HoUness, 
and  all  others,  as  our  servant  and  sculptor,  which 
you  are,  and  will,  I  hope,  always  remain,  knowing 
that  this  does  us  great  honour.  And  we  are  truly 
glad  to  hear  that  change  of  air  continues  to  do 
you  good." 

It  was  now  Cristoforo's  turn  to  express  his 
concern  at  the  Marchesa's  illness ;  and  in  a  long 
letter  from  Bologna  he  sent  her  greetings  from  Casio, 
who  was  about  to  accompany  him  to  Rome,  and 
told  her  of  all  the  masses  and  prayers  which  he 
had  ordered  to  be  offered  up  on  her  behalf.  Isabella 
replied  in  a  long  letter,  written  early  in  November, 
shortly  before  the  birth  of  her  second  son  Ercole, 
full  of  directions  and  messages  to  her  friends  in  Rome. 

"  We  are  very  glad  to  hear  that  you  are  on  your 
way  to  Rome,  where  we  would  rather  see  you  than 
in  any  other  place,  and  we  hope  that  you  will  serve 
us  as  well  there  as  you  did  at  Milan,  and  will  especi- 
ally endeavour  to  find  us  some  rare  antiques  from 
the  recent  excavations,  with  which  we  may  adorn 

*  Sig.  Venturi  states  that  Caradosso's  inkstand,  which  Isabella 
eventually  purchased  for  her  studio,  is  now  in  the  Dreyfus  col- 
lection  in  Paris  {op.  cit.). 


our  studio.  First  of  all  you  might  see  the  sons  of 
Zampeluna,  who  has  lately  died,  and  has,  we  hear, 
left  many  fine  things  which  may  suit  us.  And  if 
you  have  need  of  any  help  in  obtaining  these  an- 
tiques, you  might  present  yourself  as  our  servant 
to  the  Cardinal  di  S.  Prassede  (Antonio  Pallavicino), 
who,  out  of  love  to  us,  will  give  you  the  help  of 
his  authority.  You  can  also  confer  with  Brognolo, 
who  is  at  present  in  Rome.  Let  us  know  when  you 
have  made  any  bargain,  and  we  will  send  the  money. 
I  knew  you  would  be  grieved  to  hear  of  our  illness, 
because  of  the  love  you  bear  us,  and  if  you  offered 
prayers  and  vows  to  God  for  our  health,  they  came 
from  a  faithful  and  understanding  soul,  and  were 
well-pleasing  to  us.  We  are  now  recovering,  by 
God's  grace,  and  are  regaining  strength  every  day. 
Go  in  peace,  with  our  best  wishes  for  your  health." 

Soon  after  Cristoforo  reached  Rome,  the  Mantuan 
agent,  Lodovico  Brognolo,  informed  Isabella  that, 
although  he  is  aware  her  heart  is  set  on  antiques, 
he  is  sending  her  a  cameo,  which  Messer  Zoan 
Cristoforo  has  praised  for  its  rare  beauty,  and  for 
which,  by  his  advice,  he  has  paid  20  ducats.  Then 
we  hear  of  other  treasures,  bronzes  and  medals 
and  marbles,  which  have  been  dug  up  during  the 
recent  excavations,  and  eventually  find  their  way 
to  Mantua.  "  As  I  know  Your  Highness  is  anxious 
to  secure  antiques  to  adorn  your  Grotta,"  writes 
Fra  Serafino,  a  clown  who  was  in  high  favour  both 
at  Mantua  and  Urbino,  "  I  send  you  a  marble  figure, 
which  was  lately  dug  up  here.  Your  Excellency  is 
so  learned  in  these  things  that  you  will,  I  am  sure, 
recognise  its  beauty  and  understand  its  meaning  at 
once,  without  sending  for   Zoan   Cristoforo.      And 


I  beg  you  to  place  it  in  your  Grotta  for  my  sake."  * 
Then  Stazio  Gadio,  her  son's  tutor,  tells  her  of  a 
head  of  Ariadne  and  a  fine  marble  satyr,  which  have 
been  lately  brought  to  light.  Unfortunately  Isabella 
was  compelled  to  decline  these  offers,  sorely  against 
her  will,  having  no  money  to  spare,  since  she  had 
spent  too  much  in  building  a  new  house ;  although 
she  owned  that,  were  she  to  see  these  antiquities,  it 
was  quite  possible  they  would  please  her  so  much  that 
she  would  have  to  keep  them. 2  But  in  the  course 
of  that  autumn  she  did  succeed  in  adding  one  antique 
of  rare  beauty  to  her  collection — a  Cupid  sleeping 
on  a  hon's  skin,  which  was  ascribed  to  Praxiteles. 
The  precious  marble  belonged  to  Alessandro  Bonatti, 
and  after  a  prolonged  correspondence  was  ultimately 
acquired  by  her  agent,  Brognolo,  with  the  help  of 
Cardinal  di  S.  Prassede,  Duke  Guidobaldo,  and  his 
nephew,  Francesco  Maria.  It  was  sent  to  Mantua 
in  December,  and  placed  in  the  Grotta,  where  De 
Thou  saw  it  when  he  visited  the  Castello  in  1573, 
and  pronounced  it  to  be  still  more  beautiful  than 
the  famous  Cupid  of  Michel  Angelo.  A  tradition 
indeed  was  current  at  Mantua  in  those  days  that 
Michel  Angelo  himself,  conscious  of  the  superiority 
of  the  Greek  marble,  begged  the  Marchesa  always 
to  show  his  Cupid  to  visitors  before  they  were  allowed 
to  see  the  genuine  antique.  Cristoforo  Romano, 
who  took  a  keen  interest  in  the  Roman  excavations, 
and  was  present  with  Michel  Angelo  when  the  Laocoon 
was  discovered  in  the  bed  of  the  Tiber,  praised  this 
Cupid  as  one  of  the  finest  things  which  he  had  seen, 
in  a  very  interesting  letter  which  he  wrote  to  Isabella 
on  the  1st  of  December. 

^  Luzio  e  Ilenier,  Mantova  e  Urbino,  p.  l68. 
*  D'Arco,  Arle  e  Artejici,  ii.  77. 


"  Illustrious  Lady  mine, — This  morning  I  pre- 
sented your  letter  with  much  pleasure  to  the  Cardinal 
di  S.  Prassede,  delivering  it  with  my  own  hands, 
and  he  spoke  very  warmly  of  you,  and  made  me 
all  manner  of  offers  in  your  name,  for  which  I  thanked 
him  sincerely.  Only  he  is  so  old  that  he  will  hardly 
be  able  to  do  much  more  for  us.  Thank  God  I 
am  keeping  well,  and  live  happy  under  the  shadow 
of  Your  Excellency's  protection,  which  follows  me 
all  over  the  world.  Yesterday  I  kissed  the  feet  of 
His  Holiness  and  saluted  him  in  your  name,  which 
pleased  him  greatly.  He  sends  you  his  best  thanks, 
and  will  attend  to  your  wishes,  of  which  I  informed 
him ;  but,  as  he  was  engaged  with  these  Cardinals, 
I  could  not  say  anything  more  to  him.  Since  then 
I  have  been  spending  my  time  in  revisiting  the 
remains  of  ancient  Rome.  So  many  'fine  things' 
have  been  discovered  since  I  was  here  last  that  I 
am  dumbfoundered  at  the  sight.  Here  many  people 
take  interest  in  these  matters,  so  that  it  has  become 
very  difficult  to  get  the  best  things,  unless  you  are 
the  fii'st  to  see  them  and  ready  to  pay  well,  as 
they  soon  fetch  large  prices.  I  must  go  and  see  a 
bronze  relief  worked  in  silver,  which  I  hear  is  very 
fine,  and  which,  it  seems  to  me.  Your  Highness 
might  hke.  I  will  strike  the  bargain  if  I  can,  be- 
cause it  would  be  an  ornament  worthy  of  any  place. 
And  I  will  keep  my  eyes  open,  and  have  already 
told  the  excavators  to  let  me  know,  before  any  one 
else,  if  they  find  a  really  good  antique,  and  I  will 
lose  no  opportunity  of  serving  you.  But,  if  Your 
Excellency  comes  to  Rome  this  carnival,  I  am  sure 
many  fine  presents  will  be  given  you,  and  here  your 
coming   is   awaited  with   the   utmost   eagerness.     I 


have  already  told  several  Cardinals  that  you  are 
coming  to  Rome  without  fail,  and  I  know  they  will 
give  you  so  warm  a  welcome,  and  you  will  be  so 
happy,  and  this  place  and  everything  here  will 
please  you  so  well,  that  you  vnll  grieve  to  leave 
it,  and  will  often  wish  to  return,  and  this  for  many 
reasons.  Because,  in  the  first  place,  you  will  find 
sweet  and  pleasant  company,  most  of  all  that  of 
Madonna  Felice,  the  Pope's  daughter,  a  most  charm- 
ing lady,  of  rare  intellect  and  goodness,  very  fond 
of  antiques,  of  letters,  and  of  all  good  works,  and 
a  devoted  slave  of  Your  Highness,  as  she  has  often 
told  me.  I  rejoice  to  hear  of  your  fine  boy.  Thank 
God  your  illness  has  ended  so  happily  I  Be  of  good 
cheer,  dear  lady,  and  may  God  give  you  much  joy 
in  your  children.  I  repeat  that  the  Cupid  which 
Brognolo  has  secured  for  you  is  a  most  rare  and 
excellent  thing,  and  I  swear,  by  the  God  I  adore, 
that  if  it  had  been  bought  for  any  one  but  Your 
Highness  it  should  never  have  left  Rome.  In  old 
days,  when  I  was  a  boy,  I  used  all  my  power  and 
skill  to  prevent  such  things  going  to  the  Cardinal 
of  Aragon  and  Lorenzo  dei  Medici,  because  it  grieved 
me  then,  as  it  still  grieves  me  to-day,  to  see  Rome 
stripped  of  all  its  treasures.  And  there  are  few  such 
marbles  left  here  now.  But  for  Your  Excellency's 
sake  I  would  do  anything,  and  care  for  nothing 
else  in  the  world  as  long  as  I  am  able  to  please 
you. — Your  servant,  Zoan  Cristoforg  Romano."^ 
Cristoforo's  description  of  the  rage  for  antiques 
which  prevailed  at  the  time  in  Rome,  and  of  the 
difficulty  of  securing  any  really  good  work  at  a 
reasonable  price,  is  confirmed  by  another  of  Isabella's 

^  A.  Venturi,  op.  cit. 


correspondents,  a  Greek  scholar,  Giorgio  diNegroponto, 
whom  she  had  also  commissioned  to  send  her  some 
beautiful  thing  for  the  Grotta.  "  Although,  in  truth," 
he  writes  to  the  Marchesa  on  the  19th  of  May  1507, 
"  nothing  is  left  of  ancient  Rome  but  her  immortal 
name,  with  some  ruins  and  fragments  of  statues, 
whenever  I  see  something  of  rare  excellence  I  wish 
for  the  magician's  wand  to  waft  it  to  my  dear  lady. 
If  it  costs  me  my  life,  I  will  manage  to  send  some 
beautiful  antique,  but  indeed,  Madama  mia,  this  is 
a  work  of  great  difficulty.  For,  if  such  a  thing  is 
found,  there  are  in  a  moment  so  many  buyers  in 
the  market  that  it  needs  a  miracle  to  secure  it.  I 
hear  of  men  buying  finely  worked  medals,  covered 
with  rust,  for  8  or  10  ducats,  and  seUing  them  for 
25  or  30,  and  sometimes  they  lose,  and  at  other 
times  they  make  money.  Not  four  days  ago  a 
man  bought  a  medal  of  Nero  for  6  ducats,  and  after 
cleaning  it  could  have  sold  it  for  12  ducats,  but 
would  not  take  less  than  25.  Last  Saturday  a 
Roman,  who  was  digging  in  his  garden  in  the  Campo 
di  Fiori,  found  a  Hercules  clad  in  the  hon's  skin, 
holding  a  club  in  the  right  hand,  and  in  the  left  a 
boy  of  four  years  old.  Phsedrus  (the  learned  Cardinal 
Inghirami,  whose  portrait  was  painted  by  Raphael) 
says  that  the  statue  is  not  a  Hercules  at  all,  but 
represents  the  Emperor  Commodus.  It  was  taken 
to  the  Vatican  the  day  after  it  had  been  dug  up,  and 
I  hear  that  His  Holiness  has  given  the  lucky  finder 
a  benefice  worth  130  ducats  a  year." 

This  statue  of  Hercules  and  Telephus,  or  Commo- 
dus with  the  attributes  of  Hercules,  as  it  is  sometimes 
called,  is  still  one  of  the  ornaments  of  the  Belvedere 
Museum,  where  it  was  placed  by  Pope  Julius.     Three 


months  later,  this  same  Cioifrio  offered  Isabella  an 
antique  pavement  of  porphyry,  serpentine,  and  other 
coloured  marbles,  but  we  do  not  hear  if  she  was 
able  to  pay  for  it,  gladly  as  she  would  have  obtained 
it  for  her  Grotta/ 

Unfortunately  Isabella's  wish  to  visit  Rome  was 
once  more  disappointed.  Several  years  passed  away, 
and  her  friend,  the  sculptor,  had  long  been  in  his 
grave,  when  she  at  length  saw  the  wonders  of  the 
Eternal  City.  On  the  very  day  that  she  received 
Mantegna's  Faustina,  she  wrote  joyfully  to  tell 
Cristoforo,  who  fully  appreciated  the  value  of  her 
latest  acquisition.  "  We  think  you  have  heard,*'  she 
wrote  on  the  5th  of  August  1506,  "how  we  secured 
M.  Vianello's  agate  vase  and  painting  of  Pharaoh, 
and  now  we  have  also  obtained  possession  of  the 
Faustina  of  M.  Andrea  Mantegna.  So,  little  by 
little,  we  are  forming  a  studio  of  our  own.  Be  stil] 
on  the  look-out  for  any  antiques,  bronzes,  medals,  of 
other  excellent  things,  and  let  us  know  their  prices 
quickly,  but  in  any  case  buy  the  medals,  and  we 
will  not  fail  to  send  the  money."  ^ 

This  paragraph  forms  the  postscript  to  a  long 
letter  which  the  Marchesa  devotes  to  one  of  those 
practical  jokes  which  these  great  ladies  were  fond  of 
playing  on  their  courtiers.  In  this  case,  the  person 
m  question  was  Bernardo  Accolti,  the  brilliant 
improvisatore  known  as  TUnico  Aretino,  whose 
popularity  was  so  great  in  Rome  that  the  shops 
were  shut  and  the  streets  deserted  when  he  began 
to  recite.  This  eccentric  poet  professed  the  most 
extravagant  adoration  for   the  Duchess   of  Urbino, 

1  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1886,  p.  9*. 
"  A.  Venturi,  Arch.  St.  d.  Arte,  i.  151. 


while  his  excessive  vanity  exposed  him  to  frequent 
attacks  from  the  wits  and  jesters  at  her  court.^  On 
this  occasion  Isabella  had  desired  Cristoforo  Romano 
to  give  the  poet  one  of  her  portrait  medals  when  he 
saw  him  at  Fossombrone,  on  his  way  to  Rome,  but 
the  Duchess,  by  way  of  teasing  her  adorer,  begged 
the  sculptor  only  to  show  him  the  Marchesa's  medal 
and  tell  him  that  he  could  not  spare  a  replica.  As 
EUsabetta  expected,  the  Aretine's  jealousy  was 
greatly  excited  when  he  found  how  many  of  these 
medals  had  been  distributed  in  Rome  and  Urbino 
among  Isabella's  friends,  and  he  filled  both  courts 
with  bitter  complaints.  At  length  the  Duchess 
began  to  think  it  was  time  to  put  an  end  to  his 
delusion,  and  Isabella  sent  Cristoforo  a  letter  feign- 
ing the  utmost  displeasure  at  his  forgetfulness  in 
neglecting  to  give  the  Aretine  her  medal.  In  a 
postscript  she  privately  begged  him  to  let  the  poet 
see  this  fictitious  document,  in  order  to  save  EHsa- 
betta's  reputation,  and  prevent  the  spoilt  favourite 
from  discovering  the  trick  which  had  caused  every 
one  else  so  much  amusement.  This  was  only  one 
of  many  similar  pieces  of  fooling  in  which  both 
these  wise  and  middle-aged  princesses  took  dehght, 
and  which  the  extravagant  adulation  of  the  Aretine's 
language  and  sentiments  provoked.  The  cruelty  of 
the  traitress  of  Urbino  and  the  fascinating  wiles  of 
the  siren  of  Mantua — "  la  ficatella  delta  Marchesana 
e  la  giotoncella  de  la  Duchessa  di  TJrhino^''  as  he 
presumed  to  style  these  illustrious  ladies — were  the 
perpetual  themes  of  the  letters  and  verses  which  he 
addressed  to  his  patrons,  and  which  they  accepted 
and  answered  in  the  same  singular  strain. 

1  Dennistoun,  op.  cit.,  vol.  ii.  p.  63. 


Another  replica  of  the  Marchesa's  medal  which 
Cristolbro  Romano  took  with  him  to  Naples  in  the 
autumn  of  1507,  was  given  by  her  orders  to  her 
husband's  faithful  secretary,  Jacopo  d'Atri,  who  had 
long  been  absent  from  Mantua,  on  a  diplomatic 
mission  to  Ferdinand  the  Catholic,  and  who  welcomed 
this  gift  with  heartfelt  joy. 

"  Zoan  Cristoforo,"  he  wrote  to  Isabella  on  the 
24th  of  October,  "  your  devoted  servant,  is  here,  and 
has  given  me  a  medal  of  Your  Excellency,  which  is 
infinitely  beautiful,  as  you  are  yourself.  He  tells  me 
that  he  has  shown  it  as  a  divine  thing  to  all  these 
Queens,  who  looked  at  it  with  the  greatest  admira- 
tion. The  Queen  Consort  saw  it  before  she  went  to 
Spain,  and  seemed  as  if  she  could  never  be  tired  of 
looking  at  it,  saying  that,  besides  rare  beauty  of 
feature,  it  showed  signs  of  great  intelligence,  which 
agreed  with  the  reputation  you  possessed  when  she 
Hved  in  France  and  made  her  exceedingly  anxious 
to  meet  you."  This  was  Germaine  de  Foix,  the 
second  wife  of  Ferdinand  the  CathoHc,  who  had  been 
brought  up  at  the  French  court.  The  other  illus- 
trious ladies  then  present  at  Naples  were  Isabella's 
aunt,  Beatrice,  the  widowed  Queen  of  Hungary  ;  her 
cousin,  Isabella,  Duchess  of  Milan ;  and  the  daughters 
of  Gonsalvo  de  Cordova,  Viceroy  of  Naples.  "  All 
the  others  who  saw  your  portrait  praised  it  in  the 
highest  terms,  especially  the  gallant  and  gracious 
daughters  of  the  Great  Captain,  who,  after  looking  at 
it  again  and  again  a  thousand  times  over,  kissed  the 
beautiful  medal,  saying  that  they  too  had  often  heard 
of  your  talents  and  virtues.  I  asked  Zoan  Cristoforo 
which  of  aU  these  great  ladies  would  like  to  have  a 
similar  medal  best,  and  he  replied  that  all  of  them  had 


praised  it  in  the  same  glowing  terms,  but  that  those 
who  had  the  best  judgment  gave  it  the  highest 
praise.  Above  all,  the  fair  and  gallant  daughters 
of  the  Great  Captain  seemed  to  wish  exceedingly  to 
possess  such  an  effigy  of  Your  Highness.  Since 
Zoan  Cristoforo  has  been  here,  he  has  also  made  a 
medal  of  the  Duchess  of  Milan,  which  is  very  beauti- 
ful, and  has  a  very  skilfully  wrought  veil,  but  only 
the  face  and  head  are  finished  as  yet.  Besides  this, 
he  has  made  another  of  the  Pope,  which  is  very  like 
him,  but  which  people  care  for  less,  as  he  is  old  and 
ugly.  But  the  reverse  —  two  figures  offering  a 
sacrifice — is  admirable,  and  may  be  compared,  in 
the  judgment  of  the  best  critics,  to  a  fine  antique. 
I  feel  sure  that  it  will  please  Your  Highness,  whose 
servant  he  always  remains.  To-day  he  goes  to  Rome 
with  the  Cardinal  of  Aragon."  ^ 

After  spending  the  next  two  years  in  Rome  and 
Urbino,  where  he  was  always  a  welcome  guest, 
Cristoforo  went  to  the  Santa  Casa  of  Loreto,  where 
Pope  Julius  employed  him  to  rebuild  the  Campanile 
of  this  famous  Basihca,  and  to  continue  the  works 
which  Bramante  had  begun.  He  still  wrote  lively 
letters  to  his  friend  Bembo  at  the  Court  of  Urbino, 
*'  the  temple  of  virtue  and  chastity,"  where  his  happiest 
days  had  been  spent,  and  sent  affectionate  greetings 
to  the  Duchess  and  Emilia  Pia.  And  both  Isabella 
and  her  brother,  Cardinal  d'Este,  exerted  themselves 
to  obtain  a  rich  benefice  which  he  coveted.  But  his 
health  failed  rapidly,  and  he  died  in  IMay  1512,  leaving 
to  the  notary  who  made  his  will  his  copy  of  Bembo's 
Asolani  as  his  most  precious  possession.  Casio  wrote 
a  Latin  epitaph  for  his  tomb  at  Loreto,  and  Isabella 

^  Venturi,  op.  cit. 


lamented  liim  as  a  true  friend  and  loyal  servant,  as  well 
as  one  of  the  most  brilliant  and  accomplished  artists 
of  her  court. 

There  was  another  cultivated  gentleman,  the 
Knight  of  S.  John,  Fra  Sabba  da  Castiglione,  a 
kinsman  of  Baldassarre,  and  an  intimate  friend  of 
Cristoforo  Romano,  who  corresponded  frequently 
with  Isabella  on  those  subjects  which  interested 
her  so  deeply.  Born  in  1484  at  Milan,  Fra  Sabba 
had  known  Cristoforo  and  Lorenzo  da  Pavia  at 
the  Sforzas'  court,  and  remembered  Niccolo  da 
Correggio  as  the  finest  gentleman  of  his  day.  On 
his  way  to  join  the  Knights  of  his  Order  in  the  island 
of  Rhodes,  in  May  1505,  he  paid  a  visit  to  Mantua 
and  promised  the  charming  Marchesa  to  send  her 
some  of  the  choice  antiques  that  were  daily  being 
brought  to  light  in  the  isles  of  Greece.  During  the 
three  years  which  he  spent  on  this  barren  island,  far 
from  his  "sweet  friends  and  dearly  loved  Italy,"  he 
devoted  himself  loyally  to  this  task  in  spite  of  many 
difficulties.  There  were,  as  he  told  her,  in  Rhodes, 
especially  in  the  garden  of  the  Grand  Master,  many 
excellent  sculptures  lying  despised  and  uncared  for, 
exposed  to  wind  and  rain,  which  made  him  feel  as  if 
the  bones  of  his  father  were  unburied.  But  when  he 
expressed  his  feelings  in  a  sonnet,  which  he  hung 
round  the  neck  of  a  statue,  the  Knights  of  other 
nationaUties,  "  of  whom,"  he  remarks,  "  the  less  said 
the  better,"  declared  that  he  was  an  idolater,  like 
all  Italians,  and  he  found  it  wise  to  hold  his  peace. 
Under  these  circumstances  Fra  Sabba  advised 
the  Marchesa  to  ask  Monseigneur  de  Chaumont, 
the  French  Viceroy  of  Milan,  who  was  a  nephew 
of    the     Grand     Master,     to     beg     his     uncle     to 


send  him  some  Greek  statues  and  other  antiquities. 
She  might  further  suggest  that,  as  His  Reverence 
was  no  doubt  occupied  with  affairs  of  greater  im- 
portance, he  should  desire  the  Italian  Era  Sabba  da 
Castiglione  to  undertake  this  commission.  Only, 
the  Marchesa  must  on  no  account  allow  it  to  appear 
that  the  suggestion  proceeds  from  Sabba  himself. 
"  For  in  this  case,"  wrote  the  young  Knight,  **  I  shall 
be  handed  over  as  a  pagan  and  heretic  to  the  Inqui- 
sition, who  will  promptly  reduce  me  to  smoke  and 
ashes !  Such,  alas  !  is  the  folly  and  malevolence  of 
ignorant  men  ! "  ^ 

In  his  lonely  exile  the  poor  young  scholar  thought 
sadly  of  the  happy  days  that  he  had  spent  at  Milan 
and  Mantua,  and  begged  to  be  affectionately  remem- 
bered to  Messer  Marchetto,  the  famous  singer,  and 
Messer  Fedele,  the  goldsmith.  His  own  literary 
pursuits,  he  tells  Isabella,  are  all  in  abeyance.  His 
collection  of  epitaphs,  which  was  to  be  dedicated  to 
the  Marchesa,  remains  unfinished,  and  he  can  make 
but  little  progress  with  a  new  work  on  Chivalry,  in 
which  he  is  attempting  to  draw  the  portrait  of  a  good 
and  perfect  knight  according  to  his  own  ideas.  But  at 
least  he  can  discuss  the  subject  with  the  Castilian 
Knights  of  his  Order,  who  know,  or  think  they  know, 
a  great  deal  on  the  subject.  But  Mars,  with  his 
horrid  trumpet,  is  ever  calling  him  to  arms,  and  the 
hand  which  once  held  the  pen  must  now  handle  sword 
and  lance.  For  an  attack  from  the  Turk  is  daily 
expected,  and  the  gallant  Knights  are  making  ready 
and  await  his  coming  with  devotion  and  courage. 

Meanwhile  his  one  solace,  he  tells  his  dear  lady, 

1  Leltere  inedite  di  Fra  Sabba  da  Castiglione ;    Luzio,  Arch.  St. 
Lomb.,  1886,  p.  99. 


is  that  he  has  founded  a  new  Academy,  on  a  strange 
Parnassus  if  you  will — with  no  magnificent  halls  or 
golden  portico,  and  no  well-cultivated  gardens  gay 
with  flowers,  but  on  the  barren  sea-shore,  where  the 
waves  dash  against  the  rocks  and  the  winds  howl  with 
ceaseless  fury.  Here  he  recites  tragedies,  comedies, 
eclogues,  and  satires  to  the  music  of  the  wild  waves, 
and  if  a  hoarse  raven  should  chance  to  alight  on  the 
rocks  and  lend  an  attentive  ear  to  his  recitation,  he 
counts  himself  most  fortunate  and  marks  the  day 
with  a  white  stone.  "  So  life  goes  with  a  man  doomed 
to  spend  his  days  among  barbarians  I  But  perhaps," 
he  adds,  "  Fortune,  the  strong  goddess,  is  keeping  me 
for  better  times."  There  are  gleams  of  sunshine  too 
in  his  dreary  life,  as  when,  in  the  month  of  May,  he 
goes  for  a  summer  sail  to  the  Cyclades  and  sees  the 
birthplace  of  so  many  divine  heroes.  He  visits 
Delos,  the  home  of  Apollo  and  Diana,  but  could 
weep  to  see  the  broken  columns  and  infinite  number 
of  marble  statues,  carved  by  the  finest  chisels,  lying 
on  the  ground,  and  longs  in  vain  to  bear  away  these 
priceless  fragments  to  adorn  his  lady's  Grotta.  All 
he  can  send  her  are  his  medals,  which  he  wraps 
up  in  a  sonnet  written  amid  the  ruins  of  the  temple, 
so  that  at  least  she  may  be  able  to  say  that  her 
collection  boasts  some  antiques  from  the  home  of 

At  length,  after  eighteen  weary  months,  the  long- 
desired  letter  from  Monseigneur  de  Chaumont  arrived, 
and  was  duly  presented  to  the  Grand  Master.  The 
Marchesa  had  acted  with  her  habitual  dexterity,  and 
ere  long  His  Most  Reverend  Signory  gave  Fra  Sabba 
gracious  permission  to  search  for  ancient  marbles  and 

1  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  pp.  100-105. 


send  them  by  ship  to  Venice.  The  poor  Knight 
was  in  the  seventh  heaven !  Now  at  length  he  may 
roam  at  will  through  the  island,  seeking  out  new 
treasures  with  the  eyes  of  Argus,  without  fear  of  being 
branded  as  a  heretic  or  idolater.  But  there  are  still 
two  perilous  shoals  to  be  avoided.  One  is  the  danger 
of  the  treasures  falling  into  the  hands  of  a  certain 
Knight  of  the  Order  at  Venice,  who  may  detain  them 
longer  than  is  convenient ;  the  other,  that  they  should 
be  sent  to  Milan.  For,  although  Monseigneur  de 
Chaumont,  being  of  French  race  and  a  native  of  a 
barbarous  country,  cares  httle  for  such  things — unless, 
indeed,  it  were  a  head  of  Father  Bacchus,  the  god  of 
wine  I — there  are  many  good  antiquaries  in  Milan 
who  know  the  true  value  of  these  precious  fragments. 
So  he  takes  advantage  of  the  visit  of  a  Parma 
traveller,  who  is  on  his  way  home,  to  send  Isabella 
two  heads  of  Amazons  from  the  newly  discovered 
Tomb  at  Hahcarnassus,  erected,  it  is  said,  by  Arte- 
misia in  honour  of  her  husband  Mausolus,  as  well 
as  a  marble  statuette — without  head  or  limbs,  alas ! 
but  with  the  finest  draperies — from  the  Isle  of 
Naxos.  "And  although  it  is  sadly  mutilated,"  he 
adds,  "  I  beg  Your  Signory  to  take  it  with  a  glad 
heart  and  serene  brow,  for  I  think  it  will  not  dis- 
please Andrea  Mantegna  nor  my  own  Zoan  Cristo- 
foro,  if  these  two  are  still  present  in  human  form 
among  us."  But  when  Fra  Sabba's  letter  {ex  clara 
R/wdo)  was  written,  on  the  16th  of  April  1507, 
Cristoforo  had  already  gone  to  Rome,  and  Messer 
Andi-ea  had  been  dead  many  months. 

These  things,  "contrary  to  their  custom,"  as 
Sabba  remarks,  reached  their  destination  safely,  and 
brought  him  a  grateful  letter  from  the  Marchesa, 

VOL.  II.  B 


"  that  happy  Madonna  who  shines  as  the  sun  among 
the  smaller  stars."  Unluckily,  his  search  for  antiques 
was  interrupted  by  a  serious  illness,  and  when  he  was 
about  to  land  at  Halicarnassus,  after  a  two  months' 
cruise,  in  the  depth  of  winter,  the  sudden  appearance 
of  twenty  armed  Turkish  galleys  forced  him  to  beat 
a  retreat,  without  ever  seeing  the  noble  Tomb  which 
was  the  object  of  his  journey.  When  he  suggested 
that  the  Grand  Master  should  present  Isabella  with  a 
marble  sea-god  clasping  a  nymph  in  his  arms,  which 
had  lately  been  sent  him  from  Halicarnassus,  His 
Reverence  repUed,  "  like  a  person  of  little  knowledge 
in  these  matters,  that  he  could  not  send  so  insignifi- 
cant a  figure  to  so  great  a  lady,  and  I  dared  say  no 
more,"  adds  Sabba,  "for  the  least  contradiction 
makes  him  as  difficult  to  handle  as  a  prickly 
broom."  Another  marble  vase,  on  which  Sabba 
also  had  his  eye,  was,  unluckily,  converted  by  the 
same  dignitary  into  a  wine-cooler,  so  that  all  he 
could  send  Isabella  that  time  was  a  bundle  of  a 
sweet-scented  wood  called  calamus,  "which  takes  a 
most  beautiful  polish,  and  would  make  a  fine  lyre  or 
viol  in  the  hands  of  any  good  instrument  maker." 
But  in  his  secret  soul,  as  he  tells  his  dear  lady,  he 
cherishes  a  magnificent  dream,  which,  if  carried 
out,  would  give  her  glorious  city  a  new  splendour. 
This  is  nothing  less  than  the  removal  to  Mantua  of 
the  noble  and  celebrated  Tomb  lately  discovered  at 
Halicarnassus.  He  has  already  spoken  to  the  captain  of 
an  Italian  ship  and  a  Cremona  engineer,  both  of  whom 
assure  him  this  could  easily  be  managed,  at  compara- 
tively small  expense.  But  before  this  splendid  dream 
could  be  carried  into  execution,  the  leave  of  absence 
arrived,   for   which  Fra  Sabba  had   so   long   pined 

BUT   IS   RECALLED   TO   ROME         19 

and  he  left  Rhodes  with  joy,  only  regretting  that  he 
had  never  seen  Artemisia's  Mausoleum. 

Before  his  departure,  he  obtained  the  Grand 
Master's  leave  to  send  the  marble  sea-god  to  Mantua, 
and  managed  to  smuggle  a  marble  head  from  Chios 
and  another  fine  fragment  from  Delos  among  his  own 

In  July  1508,  Fra  Sabba  reached  Rome  after  his 
three  years'  exile,  and  to  his  great  joy  was  invited  to 
enter  the  service  of  the  Vicar- General  of  his  Order 
in  that  city.  He  remained  in  Rome  till  1516,  when 
he  was  appointed  Prior  of  a  house  of  Knights  of 
S.  John  near  Faenza.  Here  he  lived  till  an 
advanced  old  age,  enjoying  books  and  leisure,  and 
writing  the  Eicordi,  in  which  he  describes  himself  as 
"  a  poor  Knight,  whose  little  studio  is  adorned  with  a 
head  of  St.  John  Baptist  by  Donatello  and  a  St. 
Jerome  in  alabaster  by  a  Lombard  master,  the  finest 
I  have  ever  seen,  and  can  also  boast  several  intar- 
siatura  pictures  by  Fra  Damiano  da  Bergamo."  ^ 

Here  he  received  visits  fi'om  Cardinal  Bembo  and 
many  of  his  old  friends,  and  in  1529  had  the  honour 
of  entertaining  His  HoUness  Pope  Clement  VII. 
when  he  came  to  crown  the  Emperor  Charles  V. 
at  Bologna.  Fra  Sabba  sent  Isabella  the  antiques 
which  he  had  brought  from  Rhodes,  as  soon  as  he 
landed  in  Italy,  but  we  never  learn  if  he  saw  the 
Marchesa  again. 

1  Luzio  op.  cit.  ;  Peluso  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1876,  p.  370. 



Isabella's  library  in  the  Grotta — Her  relations  with  Aldo  Manuzio — 
Letters  of  Lorenzo  da  Pa  via  and  of  Aldo — The  Aldine  editions 
of  classics — Isabella's  letters  to  Aldo — He  is  thrown  into  prison 
on  Mantuan  territory — Letter  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian  to 
Isabella  on  his  behalf  —  Death  of  Aldo  Manuzio  —  Lorenzo 
da  Pavia's  last  letters  to  Isabella — His  journey  to  Rome  and 

Besides  paintings,  antiques,  and  medals,  the  Grotta 
of  the  Corte  Vecchia  contained  the  choicest  treasures  of 
Isabella  d'Este's  library,  safely  kept  on  shelves  under 
lock  and  key.  Here  were  placed  those  rare  manuscripts 
of  Greek  and  Latin  authors  which  she  loved  to  col- 
lect, the  French  and  Spanish  romances  in  which  she 
took  so  much  pleasure,  and  the  richly  illuminated  and 
sumptuously  bound  volumes  of  original  poems  pre- 
sented to  her  by  hving  writers,  and  dedicated  to  her 
in  flowery  epistles. 

"  Ask  Maddalena  for  the  key  of  the  Grotta,"  she 
wrote  from  Milan,  in  the  summer  of  1514,  to  Gian 
Giacomo  Calandra,  "  and  take  the  Car  cere  d'Amore  ^ 
out  of  my  hbrary  and  send  it  to  me  here."  Again, 
two  years  earUer,  her  friend  the  Venetian  patrician. 
Carlo  Francesco  Valerio,  wrote  to  beg  for  the  Joan  of 
the  Marchesa's  two  editions  of  the  Cento  Novclle,  one 
of  which  he  had  seen  in  the  Grotta,  the  other  in  M. 
Giacomo  Calandra's  Camerino." 

1  The  Spanish  romance,  La  Carcel  d'Amor,  by  Diego  di  San  Pedro. 
8  Yriarte,  Gazette  d.  B.  Arts,  1895. 


[Pholo,  rrcin!,  Muiitii, 

SALA.     CASTELLO    1)1    .MAXTOVA. 

[Tojacc  p.  20,  vol.  u. 


Calandra,  one  of  the  most  cultivated  among  the 
younger  Mantuan  scholars,  acted  as  librarian  for  the 
Marchesa,  and  afterwards  succeeded  his  father  in  the 
office  of  Castellan.  In  1516,  he  wrote  to  her  in 
great  concern,  saying  that  while  he  was  ill  in  bed  the 
lock  of  the  Hbrary  had  been  broken  open,  and  several 
volumes  taken  out  of  the  shelves,  while  the  others 
were  left  in  such  confusion  that  it  was  difficult  to 
open  the  doors  without  hurting  the  books.^ 

In  July  1501,  Isabella  wrote  to  her  agent  Trotti : 
"  We  wish  to  have  the  works  of  all  the  best  authors 
to  adorn  our  studio."  This  same  year  she  was  able  to 
enrich  her  collection  with  the  first  of  those  famous 
editions  of  classical  authors  that  were  being  printed  at 
Venice  by  Aldo  Manuzio. 

On  the  8th  of  July  1501,  she  wrote  to  Lorenzo  to 
inquire  about  the  Virgil  which  was  the  first  of  the 
series,  and  had  appeared  in  April :  "  Some  Virgils 
printed  in  a  small  size,  with  minute  and  almost  itahc 
type,  have  lately  been  brought  here  for  sale,  and 
please  me  very  much.  I  hear  that  the  works  of 
Petrarch  and  Ovid  are  also  to  be  published,  and 
should  like  to  have  them  both  in  parchment." 

A  fortnight  later,  Lorenzo  sent  his  mistress  the 
following  letter  in  reply : — 

"  Most  illustrious  Madonna, — I  saw  by  your  last 
letter  that  you  wished  me  to  send  you  the  three 
books,  i.e.  Virgil,  Petrarch,  and  Ovid,  in  parchment, 
and  so  I  went  at  once  to  the  house  of  Maestro  Aldo, 
who  prints  these  books  in  a  small  form  and  in  the 
finest  italic  type  that  you  ever  saw.  It  is  he  who 
printed  the  fiist  Greek  books,  and  he  is  a  very  dear 
friend   of  mine.      At  present  only  Virgil  is  to  be 

1  Luzio  e  Renier  in  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.,  xxxiii.  5. 


had  in  parchment,  so  I  send  it  you  herewith.  The 
Petrarch  is  not  yet  finished,  but  they  tell  me  it  will 
be  ready  in  about  ten  days.  As  yet  they  have  only 
printed  about  fifteen  copies  on  this  paper,  and  have 
already  bound  them.  This  has  been  owing  to  the 
dearth  of  parchment,  as  they  have  great  difficulty  in 
obtaining  the  small  amount  required  for  the  Virgils 
as  well  as  for  the  Petrarchs.  But  Your  Signoria  shall 
have  Petrarch,  which  is  not  yet  bound.  M.  Aldo 
has  promised  me  to  choose  a  copy  for  you  leaf  by 
leaf,  so  that  yours  shall  be  the  finest  of  all,  and  the 
said  Maestro  will  do  this  all  the  more  gladly  because 
he  has  been  helped  in  his  work  by  M.  Pietro  Bembo, 
who  is  most  devoted  to  Your  Signoria.  He  it  is 
who  has  had  these  poems  printed  from  a  manuscript 
which  Petrarch  wrote  with  his  own  hand,  and  which 
I  also  have  held  in  my  hand.  It  belongs  to  a  Paduan, 
and  is  so  precious  that  they  have  printed  the  book 
letter  by  letter,  after  the  original,  with  the  greatest 
possible  care.  As  soon  as  it  is  finished  I  will  send  it 
to  you,  as  they  wish  yours  to  be  the  first  that  appears, 
and  hold  this  to  be  of  good  omen,  and  feel  sure  the 
work  will  obtain  a  great  success  since  Your  Excellency 
will  have  had  the  first  copy.  After  the  Petrarch, 
Dante  will  be  printed,  in  the  same  shape  and  type, 
and  after  Dante,  Ovid,  which  I  think  they  will  begin 
towards  the  end  of  September,  but  the  Dante  in 
about  twenty  days ;  and  I  beg  you  to  seek  for  some 
goat-skin  paper,  which  should  be  clear  and  very  white 
and  fine  and  even,  not  thick  in  one  place  and  thin  in 
another,  because  formerly  I  have  seen  beautiful  paper 
in  Mantua.  The  great  difficulty  is  to  find  good  paper 
for  the  Dante  and  Ovid.  They  will  be  of  the  same 
size  as  the  Petrarch,  with  the  slieet  whole.     Your 


Highness  may  trust  me  to  do  my  utinost.  I  mean 
you  to  have  something  as  rare  and  incomparable  as 
Your  Most  Excellent  Highness  herself.  And  nothing 
in  the  world  pleases  me  more  than  to  obey  your 
orders,  remembering  the  kindness  which  you  have 
ever  shown  me.  The  Virgil  and  Petrarch,  they  say, 
will  cost  no  less  than  3  ducats  apiece. — Your  servant, 
Lorenzo  da  Pa  via."  ^     Venice,  July  26,  1501. 

The  Marchesa  was  delighted  to  think  of  the 
honour  that  Maestro  Aldo  was  about  to  pay  her, 
and  wrote  back  to  say  she  was  eagerly  expecting  the 
Virgil,  which,  however,  her  servant  Franceschino  had 
been  unable  to  bring,  and  promised  to  send  to  Parma 
for  the  fine  carta  pecora,  of  which  there  was  none  in 
Mantua.  True  to  his  word,  on  the  3rd  of  August 
Lorenzo  sent  his  mistress  the  promised  Petrarch, 
unbound,  saying  he  has  no  doubt  she  will  prefer  to 
cover  it  with  some  precious  material  and  adorn  it 
with  silver  clasps.  But  he  has  lately  seen,  in  the 
hands  of  a  merchant  who  has  just  arrived  from 
Flanders,  the  finest  binding  and  silver  clasps  in  the 
world,  and  has  obtained  a  promise  from  him  that  he 
will  take  a  Virgil  and  Petrarch  with  him  to  Flanders 
to  be  bound  in  the  same  fashion  and  return  them 
before  Christmas.  The  Marchesa  eagerly  accepted 
the  merchant's  offer,  and  her  two  copies  of  Petrarch 
were  sent  to  be  bound  in  Flanders.  But,  instead  of 
sending  them  back  at  Christmas,  the  Flemish  binder 
kept  them  till  Whitsuntide,  and  Lorenzo  confessed 
that  he  was  not  altogether  satisfied  with  the  suc- 
cess of  his  experiment.      "  I  send  Your  Excellency 

^  Baschet,  Aide  Manuce ;  A.  F.  Didot,  Aide  Manuce  et  I'Hellen- 
isme  a  Venise,  p.  170;  also  A.  Luzio  in  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.,  vol. 
xxxiii.  p.  18,  for  the  correct  text. 

24  AN   EPISTI.E   OF   ALDO 

the  two  Petrarchs  which  were  bound  in  Flanders. 
They  might,  it  seems  to  me,  have  been  better  finished, 
but,  to  say  the  truth,  I  am  in  the  habit  of  thinking 
that  a  thing  for  you  is  never  so  perfect  but  that  it 
might  be  still  more  so."  But,  whatever  Isabella 
thought  of  the  binding,  she  was  charmed  with  the 
books  themselves.  These  exquisite  editions,  printed 
in  handy  httle  volumes  on  the  finest  of  paper,  exactly 
suited  her  fine  taste.  In  November  1502,  she  ordered 
another  Petrarch  and  Dante,  and  by  degrees  the 
whole  series  issued  by  the  Aldine  press  found  their 
way  into  her  library.  A  beautiful  little  copy  of  the 
Virgil  printed  in  July  1501,  bound  in  dark  green  and 
gold  morocco,  with  illuminated  capitals  and  margins, 
is  still  preserved  in  the  British  Museum.  It  belonged 
to  Isabella's  second  son.  Cardinal  Ercole  Gonzaga, 
and  bears  the  date  1527,  in  his  own  handwriting. 

In  1503,  the  great  printer  himself  wrote  straight 
to  Isabella,  begging  her  to  intercede  with  her  husband 
for  a  certain  Federico  Ceresara,  a  Mantuan  by  birth, 
who  had  killed  his  own  brother  in  a  fit  of  rage,  and 
had  been  in  prison  for  this  crime  during  two  years,  to 
the  great  distress  of  the  unhappy  mother,  who  was 
thus  deprived  of  both  her  sons.  The  request  was 
granted,  and,  partly  out  of  gratitude  to  the  Marchesa, 
but  still  more  in  token  of  his  admiration  for  her  love 
of  letters,  Aldo  sent  her  a  new  volume  which  he 
published  in  July  1504,  with  the  following  epistle  in 
elegant  Latin : — 

"Aldus  to  Isabella,  Princess  of  Mantua,  sends 
greeting.  .During  these  last  days  I  received  a  visit 
from  Battista  Scalona  [the  Marquis's  secretary,  whom 
Isabella  had  sent  to  Venice,  and  charged  to  bring  back 
Bellini's  Presepio  with  him] — a  youth  distinguished 


by  his  rare  learning.  As  we  conversed  together,  we 
spoke  of  you,  and  naturally  dwelt  on  the  favour  shown 
to  all  scholars  and  men  of  excellence  by  Your  Majesty, 
who  are  yourself  as  learned  as  you  are  saintly  and 
virtuous.  My  respect  and  admiration  for  you  is  now 
even  greater  than  it  was  before,  and  I  desire,  as  soon 
as  possible,  to  render  you  a  further  act  of  homage 
by  dedicating  one  of  my  books  to  Your  Majesty. 
Meanwhile,  allow  me  to  send  you  as  a  gift  the  Life 
of  Apollonius  of  Tyana,  with  the  Tract  of  Eusebius 
against  Hierocles  in  Greek  and  Latin,  and  the  verses 
of  Gregory  Nazianzen  in  a  Latin  translation,  which 
have  been  lately  published  by  me  and  are  not  un- 
worthy to  be  read  by  you,  hoping  they  will  please 
Your  Majesty.  And,  although  I  know  they  are  not 
worthy  to  come  into  your  divine  hands  in  their 
present  unadorned  condition,  I  send  them  none  the 
less,  encouraged  by  my  dear  Scalona  and  trusting  to 
your  indulgence,  since,  as  you  are  aware,  those  who 
have  no  incense  to  offer  on  the  altar  of  the  Gods  are 
allowed  to  bring  milk,  salt,  and  flour.  They  will  at 
least  be  a  token  of  my  respect  for  Your  Majesty."^ 

On  the  16th  of  May  1505,  Isabella  begged  Aldo 
to  send  her  copies  of  all  the  Latin  books  which  he 
had  printed  in  this  small  edition,  excepting  the  Virgil, 
which  she  had  already.  "  And  when  you  print  fresh 
volumes,"  she  adds,  "  do  not  forget  to  print  some  on 
fine  paper  for  us,  and  that  as  quickly  as  possible. 
Please  let  us  know  the  price,  and  we  will  send  you 
the  money  at  once." 

Aldo  replied  on  the  23rd :  "  I  have  received 
Your  Excellency's  letter  saying  that  you  wish  to 
have  all  my  little  books  on  vellum.     At  present  I 

^  Baschet,  Aide  Manuce. 


only  have  these:  Martial,  Catullus,  Tibullus,  Pro- 
peilius,  unbound,  and  Horace,  with  Juvenal  and 
Pcrsius,  bound  and  illuminated.  If  Your  Highness 
pleases,  I  will  send  you  these  immediately.  As  to 
the  future,  I  will  obey  Your  Illustrious  Highness's 
commands."  ^ 

But  the  insatiable  Marchioness  still  asked  for 
more.  On  the  27th  she  wrote  again :  "  Messer 
Aldo, — You  would  give  us  singular  pleasure  if  you 
would  send  us  a  copy  of  all  your  little  editions 
on  vellum,  not  bound,  like  the  Petrarch,  which  is 
exceptionally  fine ;  and  if  they  suit  us,  we  will  send 
you  the  money,  and,  if  not,  return  them  at  once.  If 
you  will  do  this,  we  should  be  infinitely  obhged. 
Remember,  whenever  you  print  any  more  works  in 
this  form,  always  to  print  one  for  us  on  vellum,  as 
we  have  written  before." 

On  the  9th  of  June,  Aldo  sent  Isabella  all  the 
books  which  he  had  in  stock  printed  on  vellum,  by 
the  hands  of  a  kinsman  of  his  wife,  Giovanni  d'Asola, 
with  a  note  informing  her  of  their  different  prices. 
"  Martial,  Catullus,  Tibullus,  Propertius,  and  Lucan  un- 
bound ;  Horace,  Juvenal,  and  Persius  bound  together, 
with  illuminated  capitals.  This  last  volume  is  priced 
at  6  ducats,  or  at  least  4."  Martial,  "  4  ducats,  or  at 
least  3."  Catullus,  Tibullus,  Propertius,  "3  ducats, 
or  at  least  2j  "  ;  and  Lucan,  "  3  ducats,  or  at  least  2^." 
But,  much  as  Isabella  liked  the  books,  she  did  not 
choose  to  give  the  price  which  Aldo  asked.  She 
sent  them  back  on  the  30th  of  June,  with  the  follow- 
ing curt  note : — 

"  M.  Aldo, — The  four  volumes  on  vellum  which 
you  have  sent  us,  are  pronounced  by  every  one  who 

1   D'Arco,  Arch.  St.  It.,  App.  ii.  312. 


has  seen  them,  to  be  twice  as  dear  as  they  ought  to 
be.  We  have  given  them  back  to  your  messenger, 
who  does  not  deny  the  truth  of  this,  but  excuses 
you,  saying  that  your  partners  will  not  take  less. 
All  the  same,  when  you  print  any  more,  at  a  fair 
price,  and  on  finer  paper,  with  more  careful  correc- 
tions, we  shall  be  glad  to  see  them,  and  hope  still 
to  be  served  by  you."^ 

A  fortnight  later  a  strange  adventure  befell  the 
great  printer  on  Mantuan  territory.  On  the  17th  of 
July  1506,  as  he  and  Federico  Ceresara  were  return- 
ing from  Milan,  where  Aldo  had  been  examining 
certain  manuscripts  before  he  undertook  the  publica- 
tion of  Virgil's  smaller  poems,  they  were  arrested  at 
Castelromano  on  the  Mantuan  frontier.  Federico 
fled,  and  managed  to  cross  a  river  near  Asola  on 
foot,  leaving  his  horse  and  a  bag  containing  Aldo's 
clothes  and  precious  manuscripts  in  the  hands  of  the 
Mantuan  sentries.^  Two  thieves  had,  it  appears, 
lately  escaped  from  prison,  and  the  soldiers  took 
Aldo  and  his  companion  for  the  missing  criminals. 
In  vain  the  scholar  protested  that  he  was  Aldo 
Romano,  the  printer  of  Venice,  a  person  well  known 
both  to  the  Marquis  and  Marchioness  of  Mantua,  and 
honoured  by  the  favour  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian. 
He  was  thrown  into  a  damp  and  pestilential 
dungeon,  where  he  languished  during  four  days, 
unable  to  discover  the  reason  of  his  arrest,  when,  as 
he  remarked  in  the  letter  which  he  addressed  to  the 
Marquis,  "  he  ought  rather  to  have  been  protected  on 
Mantuan  territory  than  ill-treated,  since  he  was  en- 

^  A.    Baschet,    Aide   Manuce ;     A.    F,    Didot,    Aide   Manuce   et 
FHellenisme  a  Venise,  pp.  275,  276. 

2  Luzio  in  Giom.  St.  Lett.  It.,  vi.  276. 


gaged  in  seeking  to  bring  new  glory  to  the  Mantuan 
poet,  Virgil."  lUit  the  officers  of  justice  were  deaf  to 
his  appeals,  and  it  needed  the  powerful  intercession  of 
the  Venetian  Governor  of  Asola,  of  the  French  Vice- 
Chancellor  of  Milan,  and  of  Aldo's  old  pupil  and  patron, 
Alberto  Pio  of  Carpi,  who  was  fortunately  at  Mantua 
that  week,  before  his  release  could  be  finally  effected. 
On  the  25th  of  July,  having  at  length  recovered 
his  freedom,  he  addressed  a  reproachful  letter  to  the 
Marquis,  saying :  '*  If  I  had  remained  two  days  more 
in  the  horrid  place  where  I  was  shut  up,  I  must  have 
died.  But,  thank  God,  I  see  in  this  grievous  injury 
a  punishment  for  my  old  sins  against  Heaven."  The 
Marquis,  to  do  him  justice,  sent  the  printer  a  full 
and  ample  apology  for  the  unfortunate  mistake  which 
so  nearly  cost  the  great  scholar  his  life,  and  restored 
Aldo's  manuscripts  and  clothes,  with  renewed  assur- 
ances of  his  favour.  Isabella  was  at  Sacchetta  at  the 
time,  owing  to  the  plague,  and  probably  never  heard 
of  Aldo's  imprisonment  until  he  was  set  at  liberty. 
But  when,  four  years  later,  the  wars  of  the  League 
of  Cambray  desolated  Venetian  territory,  and  forced 
Aldo  to  suspend  his  works,  she  proved  a  good  friend 
to  him,  and  was  able  to  restore  his  wife's  property  at 
Asola,  which  had  been  confiscated  by  the  Mantuan 
authorities.  On  this  occasion,  the  Emperor  Maxi- 
milian addressed  a  Latin  letter  to  the  Marchesa,  who 
was  governing  Mantua  during  her  husband's  imprison- 
ment at  Venice,  recommending  "  our  dear  and  faithful 
servant,  Aldo  Roip  .no,"  to  her  favourable  notice,  and 
expressing  his  conviction  that  the  gi-eat  printer  was 
equally  beloved  by  her  on  account  of  the  splendid 
services  which  he  has  rendered  to  letters.^ 

^  A.  F.  Didot,  op.  cit. 

A   CLAVICHORD   FOR   POPE   LEO       29 

Messer  Aldo  died  in  1515.  His  friend  Lorenzo 
da  Pavia  only  survived  him  two  years,  and  kept  up 
an  active  correspondence  with  Isabella  to  the  end  of 
his  life.  In  March  1514,  he  wrote  to  tell  her  of  the 
fine  clavichord  which  he  had  just  finished  for  Pope 
Leo  X.,  and  which  he  was  about  to  take  to  Rome 

"  Most  illustrious  Madonna,  —  Your  Highness 
must  forgive  me  if  your  instrument  is  not  yet  ready, 
but  I  have  been  very  busy  and  have  had  much  anxiety. 
However,  I  am  still  alive,  and  know  my  illustrious 
lady  wiU  be  glad  to  hear  that  I  have  finished  the 
large  and  splendid  clavichord  which  was  ordered  by 
Pope  Leo,  and  is  eagerly  desired  by  His  Holiness. 
It  is  ready  now,  and  I  hope  after  Easter  to  go  to 
Rome  with  the  said  instrument.  It  really  is  the 
finest  instrument  that  I  have  ever  made.  Here 
indeed  is  true  harmony !  What  a  joy  it  would  be  if 
only  you  could  hear  it !  I  enclose  a  copy  of  certain 
verses  which  are  carved  in  Roman  letters  on  the  said 
instrument.  One  set  was  composed  by  Navagero, 
the  other  by  Zoan  Aurelio,  but  I  have  chosen  those  of 
Navagero,  as  they  seem  to  me  the  most  appropriate. 
When  I  am  in  Rome,  I  will  do  my  best  to  find  some 
fine  antiques  for  Your  Highness."  ^ 

Lorenzo's  journey  to  Rome  finally  took  place  in 
June.  Before  his  departure  he  wrote  to  tell  the 
Marchesa  that  he  was  intending  to  visit  her  daughter, 
Leonora,  the  young  Duchess  of  Urbino,  on  the  way, 
and  congratulated  her  on  the  birth  of  her  grandson, 
which  had  taken  place  on  the  2nd  of  April.^ 

"  In  a  few  days'  time  I  hope  to  go  to  Rome,  and 

1  Dr.  Carlo  dell'Acqua,  Lorenzo  Gusnasco  da  Pavia,  p.  26. 

2  LitU  Famiglie  ;  Dennistoun.  "  Dukes  of  Urbino,"  vol.  iii.  82. 


intend  to  stop  at  Urbino  and  pay  my  respects  to 
our  illustrious  Duchess.  I  rejoice  sincerely  with 
Your  Highness  over  the  birth  of  her  son,  and  her 
good  health.  And  I  am  taking  her  several  fine 
things,  as  well  as  those  which  you  ordered.  Fare- 
well.— Your  Lorenzo  of  Pa  via."    June  1514. 

We  do  not  hear  whether  Lorenzo  was  still  in 
Rome  that  autumn  when  the  Marchesa  paid  her  first 
visit  to  the  Eternal  City,  but  no  doubt  she  saw  the 
wonderful  instrument  which  he  had  made  for  her  old 
friend,  Pope  Leo  X.  Two  years  afterwards  we  learn 
from  a  little  note  which  the  Marchesa  addressed 
during  a  brief  absence  from  home  to  the  Neapolitan 
musician,  Andrea  Cossa,  that  this  faithful  servant  and 
true  artist  had  passed  away. 

"We  thank  you  very  much  for  sending  us  the 
embroidered  cap,  which  has  reached  us  safely,  and 
also  for  giving  us  certain  information  of  the  death 
of  Messer  Lorenzo.  The  news  had  already  reached 
Mantua,  but  we  did  not  yet  know  if  the  report 
were  true."  ^     Vegliana,  May  4,  1517. 

^  C.  deir  Acqua,  op.  cii. 



War  of  the  League  of  Cambray — Defeat  of  the  Venetians  at 
Vaila — Capture  of  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  near  Legnago 
— His  imprisonment  at  Venice — Isabella  administers  the 
Government — Her  efforts  to  obtain  Francesco's  release — 
Leonora  goes  to  Urbino — Presents  of  Isabella  to  the  Bishop 
of  Gurk  and  Queen  of  France — The  Pope  grants  absolution 
to  Venice  and  obtains  the  release  of  Francesco  Gonzaga — 
Federico  sent  as  hostage  to  Rome — His  life  at  the  Vatican 
and  visits  to  Bologna  and  Urbino. 

On  the  10th  of  December  1508,  the  secret  treaty 
known  as  the  League  of  Cambray  was  concluded 
between  Pope  JuHus  II.,  the  Emperor,  Louis  XII., 
the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  and  the  Marquis  of  Mantua. 
The  express  object  of  the  allies,  as  stated  in  the 
treaty  between  these  powers,  was  to  resist  the  insati- 
able ambition  of  Venice,  and  compel  the  Signory  to 
restore  their  conquests  in  Romagna  and  Lombardy. 
Ever  since  his  accession,  Julius  II.  had  openly  de- 
clared that  he  meant  to  cut  the  claws  of  the  Lion 
of  St.  Mark,  and  now  the  time  for  action  was  ripe. 
In  April  1509,  the  French  army  crossed  the  frontier, 
and  at  the  same  time  the  papal  troops,  under  the 
Duke  of  Urbino,  invaded  Romagna. 

On  the  14th  of  May,  the  Venetians  were  com- 
pletely defeated  on  the  plains  of  Ghiar'  Adda  or 
Vaila,  a  day  as  disastrous  to  the  Republic,  in  the 
words    of   contemporary    writers,    as    the    battle   of 


Cannse.  The  power  of  the  Republic  was  crushed 
at  a  single  blow.  "  In  one  day,"  says  MachiaveUi, 
"  the  Venetians  lost  all  that  they  had  acquired  with 
so  much  labour  in  800  years."  ^  Not  only  were  they 
compelled  to  surrender  their  conquests  in  Romagna, 
but  all  the  Venetian  towns  on  the  mainland,  even 
the  strongly  fortified  cities  of  Verona,  Vicenza,  and 
Padua,  opened  their  gates  to  the  victors. 

Meanwhile  the  Mantuan  territory  was  overrun  by 
ill-disciplined  French  troops,  whom  Francesco  Gon- 
zaga  found  more  tiresome  than  open  enemies.     And 
Isabella,   writing   to    thank    him    for   a   present   of 
partridges,  on  the  22nd  of  June,  remarked,  laugh- 
ingly, that  even   this   heat  cannot   make   her  thin, 
but  that,  if  she  suffered  as  much  fatigue  and  worry 
as  he  had  done  from  these  French  rascals  {poltroni 
di  francesi),   perhaps   she   would    no   longer   be    so 
plump.     A   month   afterwards  her  high   spirits   re- 
ceived a  sudden  check.     On  the  17th  of  July,  the 
Venetians  succeeded  in  recovering  Padua,   and   on 
the  9th  of  August,  Francesco  Gonzaga  was  himself 
surprised  and  taken  prisoner  at   I  sola   della   Scala, 
a  village  near  Legnago,  on  the  Adige.     He  was  in 
the  act  of  taking  a  company  of  horse  to  join  the 
imperial  artillery  in   the   siege   of  Padua,  and  was 
spending  the  night  in  perfect  security  at  Isola,  when 
a  Venetian   force,   commanded   by  Luca   Malvezzi, 
secretly  sun*ounded  the  farm-house  where  he  slept. 
As    soon    as    the    alarm    was    given,    the    Marquis 
escaped   through  a   back   door,    but   was   found   by 
four  peasants  hiding  in  a  field  of  maize  and  taken 
prisoner,  first  to  Legnago,  and  afterwards  to  Venice. 
The  joy   of  the    captors    was    great,   especially    as 

^  Discorsi,  iii.  31. 


Francesco's  camp,  with  aU  his  silver  plate,  his  sump- 
tuous hangings  and  pavilions,  his  rich  furniture 
and  splendid  suits  of  armour,  fell  into  their  hands, 
together  with  "some  of  the  finest  horses  in  the 
world."  ^  Both  in  Rome  and  Mantua  the  consterna- 
tion was  great.  The  choleric  old  Pope  flung  his 
cap  on  the  ground,  and  cursed  St.  Peter  aloud. 
The  loyal  subjects  of  the  Marquis  were  filled  with 
a  sense  of  dismay,  approaching  to  panic,  when  they 
heard  that  their  lord  had  been  borne  by  his  captors  in 
triumph  to  Venice,  and  imprisoned  in  the  strong  tower 
of  the  Ducal  Palace,  known  as  the  Torresella,  which 
was  provided  with  new  bolts  and  bars  for  the  occasion.^ 
But  Isabella's  courage  and  fortitude  rose  to  the  oc- 
casion. In  the  first  pang  of  her  grief  she  sought  the 
prayers  of  the  spiritual  advisers  in  whom  she  most 
relied — Prior  Francesco  Silvestri,  and  her  Carmelite 
friends  in  Mantua.  And  she  also  asked  the  help 
and  advice  of  an  old  Ferrarese  lawyer,  Prisciani, 
whom  she  had  known  from  childhood,  and  who  was 
learned  in  the  arts  of  astrology.  Like  all  her  con- 
temporaries, Isabella  had  a  superstitious  behef  in 
astrology,  and  ordered  her  actions  and  movements 
by  the  courses  of  the  stars.  Her  horoscope  had 
been  cast  by  a  learned  astrologer  when  she  visited 
Urbino  in  1494,  and  she  had  been  especially  told 
not  to  mount  a  horse,  a  warning  which  she  obeyed 
for  some  time,  until  her  love  of  riding  proved  too 
strong  for  her  good  intentions.  She  still  clung, 
however,  to  certain  deeply  rooted  prejudices,  con- 
sulted astrologers  as  to  the  future,  and  refused  to 
set  out  on  a  journey  or  begin   an   undertaking  at 

*  Luigi  da  Porto,  Lettere  storiche,  p.  106. 
2  Lorenzi,  Monumenti  per  la  storia  d.  Pal.  ducale,  p.  150. 
VOL.  II.  C 


certain  conjunctions  of  the  moon  and  stars.  Now 
in  her  distress  she  implored  the  help  of  the  wise 
old  philosopher,  who  replied  in  a  long  letter,  in 
which  Christian  faith  and  superstitious  trust  in 
occult  powers  are  curiously  blended. 

He  begins  by  describing  how,  as  he  lay  awake 
at  night  grieving  for  her  sorrows,  a  sudden  voice 
told  him  where  to  turn  for  help.  He  got  up,  lighted 
his  candle,  and,  opening  his  books,  discovered  that 
a  remarkable  and  long-expected  conjunction  between 
the  star  of  Jove  and  the  Dragon's  head  would  take 
place  on  Saturday  evening,  the  18th  of  August,  at 
three  minutes  before  half-past  seven.  *'  At  that  pre- 
cise moment,"  he  continues,  "  kneel  down,  and,  with 
hands  clasped  and  eyes  raised  to  heaven,  repeat  the 
Confiteor^  and  ask  God  earnestly  to  restore  your 
most  dear  husband  safe  and  well  to  your  side. 
Repeat  this  prayer  three  times,  and  in  a  short  time 
the  blessing  you  seek  will  be  granted.  And  your 
httle  sons  and  daughters  might  at  the  same  time 
kneel  down  and  ask  for  the  same  grace,  so  that 
your  prayers  may  be  heard."  ^     August  15,  1509. 

After  this,  Isabella  dried  her  tears  and  faced 
this  new  emergency  with  her  wonted  energy  and 
presence  of  mind.  She  administered  public  affairs, 
made  preparations  for  the  defence  of  the  realm,  and 
exerted  all  her  powers  of  diplomacy  to  obtain  her 
husband's  release.  She  sent  envoys,  not  only  to 
Louis  XII.  and  MaximiUan,  but  even  to  the  Sultan, 
who  readily  promised  to  use  his  influence  with  the 
Doge  on  Francesco's  behalf.  But  her  chief  trust 
was  placed  in  the  Pope,  and  since  the  best  means 
of  enlisting  His  Holiness's  efforts  in  her  cause  was 

1  Luzio  in  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.,  1900, 


to  hasten  the  union  of  her  daughter  Leonora  with 
his  nephew,  the  marriage  was  fixed  to  take  place 
in  the  following  autumn.  In  November  Duchess 
Elisabetta  herself  came  to  Mantua  to  fetch  the  bride, 
and  on  the  4th  of  December  Isabella  wrote  to  her 
old  friend  Jacopo  d'Atri,  whom  she  had  sent  to  plead 
her  husband's  cause  at  the  French  court :  "  Here 
we  have  been  entertaining  the  Duchess  of  Urbino 
and  a  large  and  honourable  company  at  great  ex- 
pense, but  very  gladly.  In  two  or  three  days  she 
will  take  back  our  young  Duchess,  whom  we  send 
with  her  very  willingly,  hoping  that  His  Hohness 
will  now  show  us  still  greater  favour,  and  this  all  the 
more  since  we  hear  that  His  Beatitude  desires  her 
and  the  Duke  to  come  to  Rome  for  the  pontifical 
celebration  of  their  marriage.  .  .  .  His  Holiness  has 
sent  a  most  beautiful  htter  for  the  bride,  covered 
with  cloth  of  silver  and  gold  cords,  and  borne  by 
two  handsome  pages  in  liveries  to  match,  as  well 
as  a  fine  dapple-grey  horse  with  rich  trappings.  The 
Duke  was  on  his  way  here  incognito  to  pay  us  a 
visit,  but  when  he  reached  Carpi,  he  was  summoned 
back  in  haste  by  a  papal  brief,  ordering  him  to  lead 
the  troops  of  the  League  against  Ravenna."  ^ 

On  the  9th  of  December,  the  wedding-party  set 
out  on  their  journey,  which  was  attended  with  even 
more  discomforts  and  adventures  than  usual.  First 
of  aU,  they  left  Mantua  in  so  dense  a  fog  that 
Isabella  and  her  train  of  courtiers  were  unable  to 
accompany  them  beyond  the  gates,  and  before  they 
reached  their  first  halting-place,  the  villa  of  Gonzaga, 
they  lost  their  way  and  wandered  for  hours  in  the 
dark.     "  The  astrologer  who  fixed  the  time  of  their 

^   I.uzio  e  Renier,  Mantova  e  Urbino,  p.  190,  &c. 


departure,"  remarked  Isabella  in  a  letter  to  Rome, 
"  certainly  made  a  false  calculation  I  But  we  must 
hope  the  rest  of  their  journey  will  prove  more 
prosperous."  This  was  hardly  the  case.  After  being 
entertained  with  banquets  and  dances  at  Modena  and 
Bologna,  where  the  Duchesses  lodged  in  the  palace 
of  the  Papal  Legate,  Cardinal  Alidosi,  they  rode  on 
to  Faenza,  and  were  nearly  drowned  in  crossing  a 
mountain  torrent.  So  sudden  was  the  rise  of  the 
water  and  so  strong  the  stream  that  Picenardi  had 
to  swim  for  his  Ufe.  In  a  lively  letter  to  the 
Marchesa  he  describes  how,  looking  round,  he  saw 
the  chariot  containing  two  of  Leonora's  ladies  and 
their  luggage  floating  down  the  stream,  both  the  oxen 
harnessed  to  the  car  being  lifted  off  their  feet  by  the 
force  of  the  current  I  "If  you  could  have  seen  the 
faces  of  Madonna  Ginevra  and  Pasina,"  he  adds,  "  you 
would  have  died  of  laughing  I "  At  length,  after  long 
days  of  weary  travelling  over  bad  roads  in  torrents  of 
rain,  Urbino  was  safely  reached.  The  young  Duke 
himself  rode  out  to  meet  them,  and  kissed  his  beau- 
tiful Duchess,  and  embraced  his  "poor  lame  aunt," 
as  EUsabetta  called  herself.  She  was  suffering  from 
an  acute  attack  of  gout,  and  after  embracing  her 
nephew,  gladly  returned  to  her  litter.  "  Then  the 
Duke  and  his  bride,"  continues  Picenardi,  "rode 
through  the  fine  streets  of  Urbino,  and  we  aU 
escorted  the  new  Duchess  to  her  rooms  in  the 
palace.  .  .  .  The  Duchess  has,  indeed,  made  a 
beautiful  entry.  AU  the  same,  nothing  would  please 
the  Duke  but  she  must  make  another  to-day.  This 
the  Duchess,  your  sister,  would  not  allow,  upon 
which  the  Duke  flew  into  a  rage,  and  said  he 
would  go  away ;  but  our  Madonna  told  him  to  be 

"IL   BEL   BERNARDO"  87 

reasonable,  and  not  to  behave  like  a  Turk,  with  other 
wise  words,  so  that  he  said  no  more  and  remained 
content.  Then  Messer  Cesare  Gonzaga  and  Count 
Lodovico  da  Canossa  arrived  from  Rome  with  the 
papal  brief,  and  every  one  was  happy."  ^ 

The  new  Duchess  made  an  excellent  impression 
on  the  whole  court,  as  her  mother's  numerous  friends 
hastened  to  assure  her.  Amongst  others,  the  witty 
and  accomplished  Florentine,  Bernardo  Dovizi  of 
Bibbiena,  who  was  at  Urbino  with  his  master. 
Cardinal  Medici,  addressed  a  long  letter  to  the 
Marchesa,  signing  himself  by  his  favourite  nickname 
of  //  Mocdcone  (the  dolt  or  fool),  and  expressing  his 
great  regret  that  he  had  been  hindered  by  illness 
from  accepting  Isabella's  invitation  to  Mantua. 
The  Duchess,  he  declared  with  pretended  indigna- 
tion, had  evidently  whispered  false  words  into  the 
Marchesa's  ears,  and  made  her  believe  that  his 
malady  was  feigned.  "  How  in  the  world  Her 
Excellency's  lips  could  fashion  so  great  a  lie,  or 
drop  such  poison  into  your  small  and  delicate 
ears,  I  know  not  1  If  I  was  not  really  ill,  may 
God  make  me  fall  ill  again  I  Could  I  have  had 
more  honourable  company  or  a  pleasanter  journey, 
or  have  arrived  in  a  place  which  I  desire  to  see 
more  passionately?"  After  many  pages  in  the 
same  strain,  the  witty  secretary  proceeds  to  speak 
in  the  warmest  terms  of  the  youthful  princess, 
whose  charms  were  the  talk  of  the  court.  "  Her 
manners  and  bearing  are  perfect.  Every  one  says 
the  same  .  .  .  principally  Madonna  Emilia,  whose 
judgment  you  will  value  on  account  of  her  clever- 
ness and  goodness.     Madonna  is  delighted  with  her. 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  op.  cit.,  p.  195. 


but  in  this  case  great  love  may  very  well  make 
her  blind.  What  more  shall  I  say?  In  Madonna 
Leonora  we  see  all  her  lady  mother."  ^ 

These  letters  from  old  friends  were  gratifying, 
for  the  expenses  of  the  wedding  and  the  large  dowry 
upon  which  the  Pope  and  Francesco  Maria's  mother 
had  insisted  when  the  original  contract  was  drawn 
up  in  Duke  Guidobaldo's  lifetime,  were  a  heavy 
strain  on  the  reduced  finances  of  Mantua.  And  in 
her  anxiety  to  gratify  the  Pope  and  his  kinsfolk, 
Isabella  had  provided  her  daughter  with  clothes  and 
jewels  of  great  value,  and  had,  as  she  took  care  to 
inform  her  Roman  agent  Brognolo,  considerably  ex- 
ceeded the  amount  specified  in  the  contract. 

But  neither  for  lack  of  money  nor  any  other 
cause  did  she  relax  her  efforts  to  obtain  her 
husband's  release.  Since  the  Marquis  found  the 
strict  confinement  in  which  he  was  kept  at  Venice 
very  tedious,  Isabella  sent  his  favourite  tenor  Mar- 
chetto,  the  lute-player  Angelo  Testagrossa,  and 
several  other  court  singers  to  beguile  his  lonely 
hours.  But  they  were  only  allowed  to  visit  him 
on  rare  occasions,  and  the  severity  of  the  Venetian 
authorities,  and  the  great  expense  to  which  they 
were  put,  constrained  the  Marchesa  to  recall  them 
in  January.  By  Francesco's  especial  wish,  she  sent 
him  a  copy  of  her  own  portrait  by  Costa,  as  well 
as  one  of  his  newly-married  daughter,  which  he 
presented  after  his  release  to  his  friend  the  Senator 
Alvise  Marcello,  in  whose  palace  they  were  seen 
fifteen  years  later  by  Marc  Antonio  Michiel.  At  the 
same  time  she  made  costly  presents  to  influential  per- 
sonages at  the  French  and  German  courts,  in  the 

*  Luzio  e  Renier,  op.  cit.,  p.  197. 


hope  of  furthering  her  object.  She  desired  her 
secretary,  Scaloiui,  to  present  Matthiius  T^ang,  Bishop 
of  Gurk,  the  all-powerful  imperial  legate,  with  a 
fine  silver  vase,  enamelled  with  scenes  from  the  life 
of  Romulus ;  ^  and  she  sent  a  Madonna  by  Costa  as 
a  gift  to  the  Queen  of  France.  This  picture  had 
been  ordered  by  the  Marquis  a  year  before,  and  the 
painter  had  begged  Isabella  to  give  him  the  benefit 
of  her  advice  and  opinion  on  the  work  before  it 
finally  left  his  shop.  Now  she  wrote  to  Jacopo 
d'Atri,  on  the  13th  of  January  1510,  telling  him 
that  she  was  glad  of  this  occasion  to  offer  a 
Madonna  to  our  great  Queen,  and  saying  that  she 
had  chosen  this  Madonna  by  Costa,  which  was  as 
fine  as  any  painting  in  the  world.  On  the  24th 
the  precious  picture,  "  the  same,"  she  writes,  "  which 
Monseigneur  de  Tyande  admired  in  our  Camerino," 
after  being  retouched  by  the  painter,  was  given  to 
Jacopo  Soardino  to  take  to  France,  together  with 
letters  to  Jacopo  d'Atri,  desiring  him  to  lose  no 
opportunity  of  impressing  Isabella's  great  wish  for 
her  husband's  deliverance  on  the  Queen.^  These 
letters  crossed  despatches  from  the  ambassador,  in- 
forming her  that  Louis  was  shortly  coming  to 
Milan,  and  reporting  a  curious  conversation  which 
had  been  overheard  between  the  King  and  Queen. 

Anne  of  Brittany,  it  seems,  at  one  time  thought 
seriously  of  accompanying  the  King  to  Italy,  and 
made  extensive  preparations  for  the  journey,  which 
was  afterwards  abandoned.  "  The  wise  King,"  wrote 
Jacopo  d'Atri  to  the  Marchesa,  "  warned  her  frankly 
that  she  would  find  a  great  contrast  between  her  own 

*  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  6. 

2  Yriarte,  Gazette  d.  B.  Arts,  I896;  Gruyer,  op.  cit.,  ii.  211 


appearance  and  that  of  our  ladies,  and  that  she  must 
exert  herself  if  she  would  compare  with  you,  telling 
her  that  Your  Excellency  in  the  first  instance,  and 
after  you,  the  Duchess  of  Ferrara  and  many  others, 
would  prove  dangerous  rivals,  while,  if  she  visited 
another  part  of  Italy,  the  sight  of  the  new  bride,  your 
daughter,  would  be  enough  to  crush  her  to  the  ground, 
so  highly  does  His  Most  Christian  Majesty  esteem 
Madonna  Leonora's  incomparable  beauty,  prudence, 
and  virtue  I  Since  this  conversation  the  most  wise 
Queen,  who  says  little  herself — which  is  in  itself  a 
great  proof  of  her  wisdom — has  been  convinced  that 
she  cannot  rival  our  Italian  princesses,  and  has 
decided  to  take  with  her  four  noble  ladies :  the 
Marchesa  di  Monferrato — whom  she  calls  French — 
Madame  de  Nevers,  Madame  de  Longueville,  and 
a  lady  of  Brittany,  who  are  all  beautiful  and  highly 
esteemed.  She  herself  intends  to  wear  black  or  tan 
cloth,  and  no  fine  robes,  so  as  not  to  enter  into  rivalry 
with  you,  feeling  sure  that  the  least  of  you  would 
surpass  her  in  this  respect.  Which,  in  my  opinion, 
will  not  be  the  case,  for  if  she  comes,  as  she  wishes 
extremely  to  do,  she  will  appear  in  all  her  pomp  and 
glory,  and  make  herself  known  as  the  Queen,  not 
only  of  France,  but  of  the  whole  universe.  I  do  not 
think  that  she  will  make  any  show  of  brocade  or  fine 
clothes,  but  her  foot-guards  will  amaze  all  eyes,  and 
she  herself,  who  is  so  glorious  in  soul,  will  show  you 
things  which  have  never  yet  been  imagined  either 
in  France  or  Italy,  but  which  she  has  the  means  to 
do  if  she  chooses.  And  of  jewels  also  she  has  her 
share.  But  I  cannot  help  saying  that  it  would  be 
well  if  the  caps  and  low  bodices,  which  are  now 
fashionable   in   Italy,   were   as   decent   as   they   are 


here.  These  caps,  which  make  women  look  like 
boys,  and  this  fashion  of  laying  the  breast  bare,  will 
never  please  foreigners,  and  if  those  French  who 
have  been  in  Italy  praise  them,  they  only  do  so 
out  of  flattery.  I  have  not  tried  to  deny  this, 
because,  after  all,  honesty  is  the  best  policy.  So 
prepare  yourself,  dear  Madonna,  if  Her  Majesty 
comes,  to  do  honour  to  the  Latin  name."^ 

Isabella,  on  her  part,  expressed  great  delight  to 
hear  of  His  Christian  Majesty's  intention  to  visit 
Italy,  and  confidently  expected  the  King's  presence 
at  Milan  would  lead  to  the  release  of  her  husband, 
"  even,"  she  adds,  "if  it  should  be  necessary  to  have 
recourse  to  arms."  In  a  postscript  she  thanked 
D'Atri  for  the  portrait  of  the  court-jester  Triboulet, 
and  renews  her  request  for  a  French  vocabulary, 
evidently  desiring  to  improve  her  defective  French. 
But  Louis  had  grown  indifferent  to  the  war  against 
Venice,  and  took  no  active  steps  to  obtain  the  release 
of  his  ally.  Both  he  and  the  Emperor  had  learnt  to 
look  with  suspicion  on  Francesco  Gonzaga's  intrigues, 
and  asked  the  Marchesa  to  place  her  eldest  son  Fede- 
rico  as  a  hostage  in  their  hands  before  they  approached 
the  Republic  on  behalf  of  her  husband.  The  mere 
idea  of  parting  from  her  darling  boy  filled  the  poor 
mother's  heart  with  anguish,  and  when  Maximilian 
renewed  his  proposal,  Isabella  sent  this  indignant 
answer  to  Donato  di  Preti,  her  envoy  at  the  imperial 
court : — 

"  As  to  the  demand  for  our  dearest  first-born  son 
Federico,  besides  being  a  cruel  and  almost  inhuman 
thing  for  any  one  who  knows  the  meaning  of  a  mother's 
love,  there  are  many  causes  which  render  it  difficult 

^  Luzio,  Nuova  Antologia,  1896. 


and  impossible.  Although  we  are  quite  sure  that  his 
person  would  he  well  cared  for  and  protected  by  His 
Majesty,  how  could  we  wish  him  to  run  the  risk  of 
this  long  and  difficult  journey,  putting  aside  the 
child's  tender  and  delicate  age  ?  And  you  must  know 
what  comfort  and  solace,  in  his  father's  present  un- 
happy condition,  we  find  in  the  presence  of  this  dear 
son,  the  hope  and  joy  of  all  our  people  and  subjects. 
To  deprive  us  of  him  would  be  to  deprive  us  of  life 
itself,  and  of  all  we  count  good  and  precious.  If  you 
take  Federico  away  you  might  as  well  take  away  our 
life  and  state  at  once  ;  so  you  may  frankly  reply,  once 
for  all,  that  we  will  suffer  any  loss  rather  than  part 
from  our  son,  and  this  you  may  take  to  be  our 
deliberate  and  unchanging  resolution."^ 

In  these  circumstances,  Isabella  once  more  turned 
to  the  Pope  for  help.  The  fiery  old  Pontiff  was 
satisfied  to  feel  he  had  humbled  Venice,  and  lent  a 
ready  ear  to  the  proposals  of  peace  that  were  made 
to  him  by  the  ambassadors  of  the  Republic.  At 
length,  on  the  24th  of  February,  he  solemnly  pro- 
nounced the  absolution  of  Venice,  while  the  five 
envoys,  clad  in  scarlet,  knelt  at  his  feet  for  an  hour 
in  the  portico  of  St.  Peter's.  After  the  Miserere  had 
been  sung,  the  great  doors  were  thrown  open,  and 
the  Venetians  were  allowed  to  enter  the  church  once 
more.'^  Isabella  naturally  hoped  this  reconciliation 
would  lead  to  her  husband's  release,  especially  as  the 
Duke  of  Urbino  had  taken  his  bride  to  Rome,  where 
the  Pope  welcomed  them  warmly,  and  celebrated 
their  arrival  with  a  succession  of  festivities.  But 
when  Francesco  Maria  ventured  to  plead  his  father- 

^  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  7. 

2  Bvosch, Fapst  Julius  U.,  288.   Pastor/' Hist,  ofthe  Popes/'  vi.Slp. 


in-law's  cause,  the  Pope  broke  into  a  furious  passion, 
and  drove  him  out  of  his  presence,  using  the  most 
violent  language,  and  reproached  him  with  trjdng  to 
play  the  part  of  Valentino  and  to  govern  the  Papacy. 
Leonora  tried  to  approach  the  Pope,  with  no  better 
result,  although  he  expressed  great  affection  for  her, 
and  Bembo  wrote  from  Rome  in  April  that  "  the  new 
Duchess  was  really  a  most  beautiful  child,  as  modest 
and  gentle  as  possible,  and  already  wise  beyond  her 
years."  ^  Only  when  he  was  watching  the  races  held 
at  carnival  from  the  balcony  of  S.  Pietro,  His 
Holiness  remarked,  with  evident  satisfaction :  "  The 
Marquis  of  Mantua  has  already  won  two  palUums  ; 
I  expect  he  will  win  this  too,  and  then  we  shall 
hear  the  people  cry,  Mantova ! "  upon  which  the 
two  Duchesses  of  Urbino  seized  the  opportunity  to 
implore  him  to  remember  the  captive  Marquis,  and 
His  Holiness  replied  kindly :  "  Have  a  little  patience, 
my  children."  Presently,  the  Gonzaga  colours  were 
seen  flying  across  the  course,  and  the  Marquis's  horse 
came  in  the  winner,  leaving  more  than  forty  others 
behind  him  in  the  race.  A  great  shout  of  "  Mantova  1 
Mantova  !  Turco  I  Turco  !  "  rang  through  the  air,  to 
the  dehght  of  not  only  Leonora  and  EHsabetta,  but 
of  the  old  Pope,  who  laughed  heartily,  and  went  home 
in  high  good  humour.^  This  incident  was  duly  re- 
ported to  the  Marchesa  by  an  eye-witness,  the  Urbino 
scribe,  Picenardi,  and  helped  to  revive  her  drooping 
hopes.  But  when  at  length  JuUus  II.  desired  the 
Venetians  to  release  Francesco,  saying  that  he  had 
need  of  his  services,  the  Signory  refused  to  give  him 
their  prisoner  without  receiving  some  pledge  in  return, 

^  Lettere,  iii,  42. 

2  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  p.  58. 


and  several  months  passed  before  the  terms  of  his 
Uberation  could  be  arranged.  At  length,  in  .luly 
1510,  the  Marquis  was  set  free,  and  went  to  Bologna 
to  meet  the  Pope,  who  appointed  him  Gonfalionere 
of  the  Church  in  the  place  of  Alfonso  d'Este.  At 
the  same  time,  his  ten-year-old  son  Federico  was  sent 
to  Rome  by  request  of  the  Doge,  to  remain  in  the 
Pope's  charge  as  hostage  for  his  father's  good 
behaviour.  Since  Isabella  was  forced  to  part  from 
her  darling  child,  there  was  some  consolation  in  feel- 
ing that  in  Rome  he  would  be  surrounded  by  friends, 
and  grow  up  in  the  midst  of  the  most  briUiant  and 
polished  society  of  the  day.  As  it  was,  the  parting 
cost  her  many  tears,  and  she  desired  Matteo  IppoUti 
and  Stazio  Gadio,  to  whose  care  she  committed  him, 
to  send  her  daily  accounts,  and  gave  the  boy  a  pre- 
cious relic  in  the  shape  of  a  bracelet  containing  the 
Gospel  of  St.  John,  to  keep  him  from  harm  on  his 
long  journey. 

After  spending  a  few  days  in  his  father's  company 
at  Bologna,  where  Francia,  as  we  know,  painted  his 
portrait,  Federico  reached  Rome  in  time  to  embrace 
his  aunt,  Duchess  EUsabetta,  who  was  leaving  for 
Urbino,  and  sent  a  kind  Httle  note  to  his  mother, 
telling  her  how  well  the  boy  looked.  By  the  Pope's 
orders,  Federico  and  his  suite  were  lodged  in  the 
Belvedere,  that  villa  on  the  heights  commanding  an  ex- 
quisite view  of  the  Campagna  and  Alban  Hills,  which 
Bramante  had  lately  enlarged  and  connected  with  the 
Vatican.  Here,  in  the  spacious  court  planned  by  the 
great  architect,  planted  with  orange  groves  and  adorned 
with  fountains  and  ancient  sarcophagi,  Julius  II.  now 
placed  his  unrivalled  collection  of  antique  statues, 
including  the  famous   Laocoon   and    the    so-called 

AS   A   HOSTAGE   TO   ROME  45 

Belvedere  Apollo.  Here,  too,  the  Hercules  described 
by  Giorgio  da  Negroponto,  in  his  letter  to  Isabella 
d'Este,  was  erected  at  the  entrance  of  the  court,  with 
the  inscription  Procul  este  profani  above  the  portico. 

"  His  Highness,"  wrote  Stazio  Gadio,  "  is  lodged 
in  the  finest  rooms  of  this  palace,  and  takes  his  meals 
in  a  most  beautiful  Loggia  overlooking  the  Cam- 
pagna,  which  may  well  be  called  the  Belvedere.  He 
spends  all  day  walking  about  these  halls  and  the 
garden  of  orange  trees  and  pines,  which  affords  him 
the  greatest  delight  and  amusement,  but  he  does  not 
neglect  his  singing,  often  sending  for  his  master  him- 
self, and  also  repeats  the  office  every  day,  and  vidll  no 
doubt  attend  to  his  lessons  when  Maestro  Francesco 
VigiHo  arrives."  This  was  his  tutor,  who  had  been 
left  at  Bologna  ill,  and  was  never  able  to  undertake 
the  journey  to  Rome. 

Isabella,  however,  was  very  anxious  that  the  boy's 
education  should  not  be  neglected,  and  in  her  letters 
continually  urged  him  to  practise  his  singing  and 
attend  to  his  studies,  as  well  as  devoting  time  to 
riding  and  knightly  exercises.  As  a  small  child,  he 
was  very  backward  in  reading,  but  quick  at  learn- 
ing by  heart,  and  at  eight  years  old  could  repeat 
long  passages  of  Ovid,  and  went  about  the  rooms  of 
the  Castello  singing  them  in  his  clear  treble.  But 
if  his  absence  from  home  interrupted  the  young 
prince's  regular  studies,  Isabella  realised  that  he  was 
learning  much  in  other  ways.  "You  have  every 
opportunity  of  acquiring  knowledge  and  necessary 
experience  in  Rome,"  she  wrote  to  the  boy  ;  "  you 
can  enjoy  yourself  and  at  the  same  time  study  letters, 
which  is  far  more  important  for  a  prince  than  for 
private  individuals." 

46        LODGES    IN   THE   BELVEDERE 

She  rejoiced  especially  to  hear  of  the  interest  which 
he  took  in  classical  antiquities,  and  of  his  daily  visits 
to  the  Coliseum  and  Capitol  or  Forum  in  company 
with  the  Aretine,  who  acted  as  his  guide  among  the 
ruins  of  ancient  Rome.  Of  all  the  antique  statues  in 
the  Belvedere,  Federico  admired  the  Laocoon  most, 
and  sent  his  mother  word  that  he  longed  to  send  to 
her  this  divine  work,  and  knew  how  much  she  would 
admire  it.  The  great  Lombard  goldsmith  Caradosso, 
who  was  now  working  for  the  Pope  in  Rome,  offered 
to  make  a  small  relief  of  the  famous  group  in  beaten 
gold  for  Federico  to  wear  in  his  cap,  and  suggested 
that  he  should  send  a  copy  to  his  mother,  but  the 
Marchesa  regretfully  declined  the  artist's  proposal  for 
lack  of  money  to  reward  the  old  artist  as  he  deserved. 
All  the  same,  she  was  pleased  to  hear  of  her  son's 
affectionate  remembrance,  and  thanked  him  for  wish- 
ing to  send  her  the  fine  antiques  which  he  saw,  re- 
marking that  this  desire  and  the  pleasure  which  he 
took  in  these  things  were  sure  signs  of  a  good  nature 
and  gentle  spirit.^ 

"  The  more  letters  you  write  and  the  longer  they 
are,  telling  me  of  Federico,  our  son,  and  of  other 
events  at  court,  the  more  gladly  I  read  them,"  wrote 
Isabella  to  the  trusted  servants  who  had  accompanied 
the  boy  to  Rome,  and  certainly  her  injunctions  were 
faithfully  obeyed.  Every  day,  Stazio  or  Grossino  or 
Ippoliti  informed  her  of  the  young  prince's  occupa- 
tions and  amusements,  of  his  rides  and  walks  in  Rome 
and  the  Campagna,  the  clothes  he  wore,  and  the  visits 
which  he  paid  or  received.  One  day  he  was  shown 
the  Papal  Treasury  in  the  Castel  S.  Angelo,  with  all 
its  stores  of  wealth — the  twelve  gold  images  of  the 

1  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  p.  10. 


Apostles,  the  papal  tiara  valued  at  80,000  ducats,  and 
fine  chests  filled  with  crosses,  jewelled  mitres,  and 
vessels  of  gold  and  silver.  One  of  the  officials  placed 
the  tiara  on  Federico's  head,  upon  which  he  ex- 
claimed :  "  No  I  I  will  not  be  Pope,  but  Captain  of 
the  Church,"  brandishing  a  spear  in  his  hand  as  he 
spoke,  to  the  admiration  of  the  bystanders,  who 
called  him  a  young  Achilles.  Stazio  took  care  to 
tell  the  Marchesa  how  much  enthusiasm  the  hand- 
some boy  excited  as  he  rode  on  his  richly  harnessed 
steed  through  the  streets  of  Rome,  clad  in  white  and 
gold  brocade,  with  a  cap  of  purple  velvet  on  his  fair 
curls  ;  and  he  praised  his  liberahty  to  the  singers  and 
musicians  who  came  to  amuse  him  in  the  Vatican 
gardens  on  fine  summer  evenings,  remarking  that  he 
was  always  anxious  to  give  them  more  than  Maestro 
Luca,  the  doctor,  thought  fit.  But  Isabella  had  no 
wish  to  encourage  these  inclinations,  and,  when  she 
heard  that  Federico  had  given  one  of  his  servants  a 
gold-embroidered  cap,  sharply  rebuked  IppoUti  for 
allowing  this,  saying  it  would  have  been  quite  another 
thing  if  Federico  had  taken  it  off  his  own  head  to 
give  it  to  some  courtier  as  a  sign  of  favour,  but  that 
servants  ought  to  know  better  than  to  ask  such  things 
of  their  master,  above  all  of  a  child.  At  the  same 
time,  the  Marchesa  enjoined  Ippoliti  to  mind  his  own 
manners  and  not  to  reprove  the  prince  or  strike  him 
in  public,  but  treat  him  with  the  respect  due  to  his 

Meanwhile  the  Pope,  whose  fury  was  now  turned 
against  France  and  her  aUies,  declared  war  on  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara  and  went  to  Bologna  to  join  his 
army.  There  Federico  joined  him  at  the  end  of 
September,   and   with    his    bright  young  face   and 


charminsf  manners  quickly  won  the  old  man's  heart, 
as  the  Pope's  attendants  soon  discovered.  He  be- 
came his  constant  companion  in  every  expedition, 
and  the  sight  of  the  child  would  often  pacify  him 
in  his  most  violent  fits  of  rage. 

His  mother,  however,  insisted  that  his  lessons 
should  be  resumed,  and  he  read  Virgil  and  wrote 
Latin  themes,  while  the  old  Pope  took  the  field 
himself  in  the  depths  of  a  severe  winter,  and  braved 
frost  and  snow  in  the  trenches  of  Mirandola.  In 
February,  Federico  was  allowed  to  go  to  Urbino, 
where  he  spent  a  joyous  carnival  in  the  company  of 
his  sister  and  aunt,  and  only  returned  to  Rome  in 
April.  At  Urbino  he  was  the  pet  and  plaything  of 
the  whole  court.  Suppers  and  dances,  plays  and 
masquerades  were  given  every  evening  in  his  honour ; 
the  days  were  spent  in  singing  with  his  sister 
Leonora,  and  Emilia  Pia,  Giuliano  dei  Medici,  Pietro 
Bembo,  and  the  violinist  Jacopo  di  San  Secondo  all 
made  much  of  him  for  his  mother  s  sake.  Here  too 
he  found  a  new  sister  in  the  person  of  Margarita 
Gonzaga,  an  illegitimate  daughter  of  the  Marquis, 
who  had  been  born  before  his  marriage,  and  brought 
up  at  the  court  of  Urbino  by  her  aunt  Elisabetta. 
This  fair  and  charming  maiden,  who  is  often  men- 
tioned in  the  Cortegiano  as  well  as  in  Castiglione  and 
Bembo's  letters,  was  betrothed  for  some  years  to 
Alberto  Pio,  the  pupil  and  friend  of  Aldo  Manuzio, 
but  the  marriage  was  deferred  and  ultimately  aban- 
doned, owing  to  the  seizure  of  Carpi,  first  by  the 
French  and  afterwards  by  the  Duke  of  Ferrara.  The 
next  suitor  for  her  hand  was  the  wealthy  banker 
Agostino  Chigi,  whose  suit  was  favourably  received  by 
the  Marquis,  and  who  showed  Federico  great  attention 


during  his  stay  in  Rome.  But  the  idea  of  union  with 
a  man  old  enough  to  have  been  her  father  seems  to 
have  repelled  the  fair  Margarita  herself,  and  Chigi 
wisely  refrained  from  pressing  a  suit  which  he  saw 
was  distasteful,  and  consoled  himself  with  a  wife  of 
less  exalted  degree.  Another  correspondent  of  the 
Marchesa,  who  had  seen  Federico  at  Bologna,  sent 
her  glowing  accounts  of  the  boy.  This  was  il  hel 
Bernardo,  as  Bibbiena  was  called  by  his  friends. 
The  Marquis's  anger  had  lately  been  roused  by  the 
discovery  of  some  intrigues  among  his  enemies  at 
Florence,  in  which  Cardinal  Medici  was  accused  of 
taking  part,  and  that  prelate  charged  his  secretary  to 
assure  his  compare,  the  Marchesa,  that  he  was  as 
absolutely  ignorant  of  the  matter  as  the  Grand  Turk 
himself,  and  remained  as  ever  entirely  devoted  to 
herself  and  her  family.  Bibbiena  took  occasion  of 
this  opportunity  to  tell  Isabella  that  he  had  been 
supping  that  evening  with  her  charming  son,  and  was 
surprised  to  find  him  quick  and  clever,  as  well  as 
wise  and  serious  beyond  his  years.  "  O  Madonna  ! " 
he  exclaims,^  "you  have  indeed  a  rare  son,  and  I 
think  you  will  find  more  comfort  in  him  than  in 
anything  else  in  the  world."  This  accomplished 
courtier,  it  is  plain,  knew  the  best  way  to  Isabella's 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  p.  15. 

VOL.  II. 



The  Po})e's  campaign  against  Ferrara — Isabella's  anxiety  to 
restore  peace — The  Bishop  of  Gurk  at  Mantua — Bologna 
captured  by  the  French — The  Duke  of  Urbino  murders 
Cardinal  Alidosi — Dangerous  illness  of  the  Pope — His  re- 
covery ascribed  to  Federico's  influence — Death  of  Isabella's 
pet  dog.  Aura — The  Holy  League  against  France — Victory 
and  death  of  Gaston  de  Foix  at  Ravenna — The  French  driven 
out  of  Italy — Federico  at  the  Vatican — The  Belvedere  ApoUo 
and  Tiber  statue — Visit  of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  to  Rome. 

The  release  of  her  husband,  and  the  good  accounts 
which  she  received  of  her  absent  son,  brought  back 
new  happiness  into  Isabella's  life.  Duchess  Elisa- 
betta  and  her  other  friends  in  Rome  satisfied  her  that 
the  Pope,  in  spite  of  his  violent  bursts  of  anger,  was 
kindly  disposed  towards  herself  and  her  husband, 
while  Federico  inspired  him  with  genuine  affection. 
But  the  fury  with  which  Julius  II.  now  attacked  her 
brother,  and  his  resolve  to  conquer  Ferrara  at  all 
costs,  caused  her  fresh  distress.  She  grieved  to  see 
her  husband  and  son-in-law  in  command  of  the  forces 
which  invaded  Alfonso's  territory,  and  used  all  her 
influence  to  bring  about  the  restoration  of  peace. 
The  Duke  of  Urbino  succeeded  in  taking  Modena 
and  Mirandola,  and  the  Pope  satisfied  his  warlike 
spirit  by  chmbing  the  walls  on  a  scaling  ladder,  and 
entering  the  city  through  the  breach  made  by  his 
guns.     But,  in  spite  of  these  reverses,  Alfonso  still 

BISHOP   LANG   AT   MANTUA         ,51 

kept  the  papal  forces  at  bay,  and  the  advance  of  a 
large  French  army,  under  the  veteran  Trivulzio,  to 
his  rehef,  compelled  the  Pope  to  retire  to  Bologna. 
A  truce  was  now  proclaimed,  and,  at  Isabella's  sug- 
gestion, ambassadors  from  England,  France,  Spain, 
and  Germany  met  at  Mantua  to  discuss  terms  of 
peace.^  Here  the  Emperor's  favourite  minister, 
Matthaus  Lang,  Bishop  of  Gurk,  arrived  early  in 
March,  and  was  splendidly  entertained  by  the 

This  haughty  German  prelate  is  described  by 
Paride  Grassi,  papal  master  of  ceremonies,  as  a  tall 
and  handsome  man  with  long  fair  hair,  and  the 
manners  of  a  barbarian.^  He  assumed  royal  airs, 
wore  lay  dress,  and  sat  down  in  the  Pope's  presence 
with  his  biretta  on  his  head.  But  he  was  by  no 
means  insensible  to  feminine  charms,  and  before  long 
was  completely  captivated  by  the  clever  Marchesa. 
"The  illustrious  Signora  Marchesana,"  wrote  Guido 
Silvestri  from  Mantua  to  his  master.  Cardinal 
d'Este,  "is  bent  on  obtaining  this  peace,  although 
that  wretch  Casola  told  her  the  other  day,  before  us 
all,  that  Cupid's  arrows  were  the  only  weapons  she 
ought  to  fear,  which  sent  us  into  fits  of  laughter  I 
So  now  we  are  rejoicing  at  the  prospect  of  peace, 
and  hope  to  see  all  this  ruin  and  misery  end  happily 
for  the  honour  of  your  princely  house."  ^  And 
Casola  himself,  a  comic  poet  in  the  service  of 
Cardinal  d'Este,  sent  his  master  the  following  strange 
account  of  an  interview  between  the  German  bishop 
and  the  Marchesa.     "The  other  day  the  Bishop  of 

'   Pastor,  "  Hist,  of  the  Popes,"  vi,  .344. 
*  Paride  Grassi,  Diarii,  ed.  Frati,  260,  &c 
^  Luzio  e  Renier  in  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.,  19OO. 


Gnrk  paid  the  Marchesa  a  visit,  when  I  caused  great 
amusement  by  acting  as  interpreter,  and  we  all 
laughed  till  our  sides  ached."  That  day  poUtics  were 
not  even  mentioned.  'J'he  whole  talk  was  of  kissing 
and  romping,  merry  songs  were  sung  and  witty 
sayings  repeated,  and  all  manner  of  gay  fooling  went 
on  between  the  German  envoys  and  Isabella  and  her 
ladies.  Unfortunately,  when  Lang  proceeded  to 
Bologna,  the  Pope  quite  refused  to  listen  to  the 
Emperor's  proposals  of  peace,  and  the  bishop  left 
suddenly,  with  no  attempt  to  conceal  his  disgust. 
Hostilities  were  immediately  resumed,  and  hardly 
had  the  Pope  left  Bologna,  than  Trivulzio  surprised 
and  defeated  the  Duke  of  Urbino's  army  and  seized 
the  town.  On  the  23rd  of  May,  the  Bentivogli 
returned  in  triumph,  Michel  Angelo's  bronze  statue 
of  Julius  II.  was  overthrown  by  the  mob,  and  the 
bronze  melted  down  by  Alfonso  d'Este  and  cast  into 
a  cannon,  which  he  christened  La  Giulia.  The 
next  day  the  papal  legate.  Cardinal  AUdosi,  was 
openly  stabbed  in  the  streets  of  Ravenna  by  the 
Duke  of  Urbino,  who  accused  him  of  treacherously 
surrendering  Bologna  to  the  foe.  A  month  after- 
wards the  old  Pope  returned  to  Rome,  broken  in 
health  and  worn  out  with  fatigue  and  anxieties.  His 
armies  were  defeated,  his  hopes  disappointed.  Bologna 
was  lost,  and  his  favourite  had  been  brutally  murdered 
by  his  own  nephew  almost  before  his  eyes.  But  his 
spirit  was  as  high  as  ever.  He  checkmated  the 
revolted  Cardinals,  who,  supported  by  the  Emperor 
and  Louis  XII.,  had  summoned  a  general  council  at 
Pisa,  by  himself  proclaiming  a  general  council,  to 
meet  at  the  Lateran  in  April  1512.  And  he  entered 
into  negotiations  with  Spain  and  Venice  to  form  a 


leao^ie  in  defence  of  the  Church  and  to  drive  the 
French  out  of  Italy. 

At  the  same  time  he  instituted  legal  proceedings 
against  his  nephew  for  the  murder  of  Cardinal 
Alidosi.  But  his  displeasure  with  the  Duke  had  not 
diminished  his  affection  for  Francesco  Maria's  young 
brother-in-law.  The  boy  was  his  constant  companion, 
both  at  his  meals  in  the  Vatican  and  in  his  daily 
walks  and  rides.  When  any  of  the  Cardinals  came 
to  dinner,  they  sat  at  other  tables  in  the  same  hall, 
and  Federico  alone  always  ate  at  the  Pope's  little 
table.  In  the  evenings  they  played  backgammon 
together,  or  else  went  out  to  supper  with  Agostino 
Chigi  in  the  gardens  of  his  beautiful  new  villa  in 

During  that  summer  Julius  the  Second's  own 
portrait  was  painted  by  Raphael,  who  introduced 
His  Holiness,  wearing  the  beard  which  he  had  vowed 
not  to  shave  off  till  the  French  were  driven  out  of 
Italy,  in  his  fresco  of  Pope  Gregory  IX.  giving  the 
Decretals,  to  the  right  of  the  window  in  the  Camera 
della  Segnatura.  And,  on  the  16th  of  August, 
Grossino  informed  Isabella  that  His  Holiness  had 
desired  Raphael  "  to  introduce  Signor  Federico's  por- 
trait in  a  room  which  he  is  painting  in  the  palace,  and 
in  which  he  has  drawn  His  Holiness  with  his  beard, 
from  life."  In  obedience  to  the  Pope's  command, 
Raphael  introduced  the  boy's  portrait  in  his  great 
fresco  of  the  School  of  Athens.  Federico's  head 
appears  in  the  group  on  the  left,  behind  the  Oriental 
philosopher  generally  called  Averroes,  while  the 
young  man  in  a  flowing  garment  of  white  and  gold 
is  said  to  be  his  brother-in-law,  Francesco  Maria. 

Early  in  August,  the  Pope  took   Federico  with 


him  to  Ostia  for  a  few  days'  hunting,  a  sport  which 
he  thoroughly  enjoyed,  and  Grossino  describes  the 
delight  of  the  old  man  when  he  caught  a  big  pheasant : 
"He  laughed  loudly,  told  us  all  proudly  what  he 
had  done,  and  showed  his  prey  to  every  one."  ^  On 
the  Eve  of  the  Assumption  he  was  back  in  Rome, 
and  attended  the  solemn  function  at  Vespers,  in  the 
Sistine  Chapel,  when  the  central  portion  of  Michel 
Angelo's  frescoes  on  the  vault  was  unveiled."  Three 
days  afterwards,  he  fell  ill  with  a  severe  attack  of 
fever,  but,  with  characteristic  obstinacy,  refused  to 
take  either  the  food  or  medicine  ordered  by  his 
doctors.  On  the  23rd,  the  Pope  was  said  to  be  dying. 
He  made  his  will,  and  absolved  the  Duke  of  Urbino, 
who  had  hastened  to  Rome  on  hearing  of  his  uncle's 
iUness.  '*  His  Holiness  is  passing  away,"  wrote  the 
Venetian  ambassador.  "  Cardinal  Medici  tells  me  he 
cannot  live  through  the  night.  The  city  is  in  a  tur- 
moil. Every  one  is  taking  up  arms."  ^  Within  the 
Vatican  all  was  confusion,  the  servants  had  disappeared, 
the  rooms  were  already  stripped  of  their  furniture  and 
valuables.  At  this  critical  moment  Federico's  in- 
fluence over  the  Pope  was  shown  in  a  remarkable 
way,  and,  according  to  his  attendants,  he  saved  the 
irascible  old  man's  life.  "  Throw  those  cursed  medi- 
cines out  of  the  window,"  he  cried,  and  railed  at  his 
nephew  Francesco  Maria  and  the  other  relatives  who 
vainly  tried  to  induce  him  to  take  nourishment. 
"Every  one  was  in  despair,"  wrote  Stazio  Gadio  to 
Isabella,  "  and  His  Holiness  refused  to  take  anything, 
but  Signor  Federico  took  a  cup  of  broth  with  two 

1  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  21. 

2  Pastor,  op.  cit. 

*  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xii.  482. 

DEATH   OF  THE   DOG  AURA         55 

yolks  of  eggs  beaten  up  in  it,  and  carried  it  himself  to 
the  bed  of  His  Holiness,  begging  him  to  drink  it  for 
his  sake  and  that  of  our  Lady  of  Loreto.  .  .  .  And 
it  is  said  in  Rome  that  Pope  JuHus  will  live,  thanks 
to  Signor  Federico."  ^ 

Fortunately  the  iron  will  and  robust  constitution 
of  the  sick  man  triumphed  over  the  state  of  prostra- 
tion in  which  the  fever  had  left  him,  and  he  began  to 
eat  and  drink  and  scold  his  servants  as  vigorously  as 
usual.  Three  days  later,  Gadio  wrote  that  his  illness 
was  already  forgotten.^ 

While  all  Rome  was  in  confusion,  and  the  news 
of  the  Pope's  death  was  hourly  expected,  Isabella 
and  her  courtiers  at  Mantua  were  plunged  in  grief 
for  a  pet  dog.  The  Marchesa's  darling  Aura,  which 
never  left  her  side,  and  which  she  had  loved  above  all 
others,  "  the  handsomest  and  most  amusing  little  dog 
that  was  ever  knovim,"  had  been  killed  by  falUng  over 
a  cliff  in  flying  from  the  pursuit  of  a  bigger  dog. 
"  Her  Excellency  was  seen  to  shed  tears  at  table  this 
evening,"  wrote  Calandra  to  Federico,  on  the  30th  of 
August,  "  and  she  cannot  speak  of  Aura  without  a 
sigh  I "  The  poor  little  dog  was  laid  in  a  leaden 
casket,  and  a  fine  tomb  was  prepared  for  her  in  a  new 
Loggia  which  the  Marchesa  had  built  that  autumn. 
Meanwhile,  not  only  at  Mantua,  but  in  Rome 
and  Ferrara,  elegies,  epitaphs,  sonnets,  and  epi- 
grams were  poured  out  by  the  best  poets  of  the 
day,  and  the  tragic  fate  of  the  "chaste  and  noble 
Aura "  was  lamented  in  Latin  and  Italian  verses,  by 
Tebaldeo  and  Scalona,  Equicola  and  Celio  Calcagnini, 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit,  p.  22. 

2  Sanuto,  xii.  482,  &c, ;  Paride  Grassi,  D?am;  Pastor,  op.  cit., 
vi.  370,  &c. 


and  a  score  of  well-known  humanists.  Federico 
shared  his  mother's  grief  for  this  lost  favourite,  and 
sent  her  I.,atin  verses  in  praise  of  Aura,  composed  by 
M.  Filippo  Beroaldo  and  others,  which  are  preserved 
among  a  host  of  similar  tributes  in  the  Gonzaga 
archives.^  But  graver  cares  and  heavier  sorrows  soon 
came  to  darken  Isabella  s  Ufe.  Francesco  Gonzaga's 
health  had  suffered  from  his  prolonged  captivity  and 
the  hardships  which  he  had  endured  in  the  winter 
campaign  against  Mirandola,  and  after  this  he  was  com- 
pelled to  give  up  active  service.  This  enforced  inac- 
tivity, so  contrary  to  his  usual  habits,  and  the  incurable 
malady  of  which  he  was  a  victim,  affected  his  whole 
being,  and  made  him  weak  and  irresolute,  as  well  as  irrit- 
able and  unhappy.  During  the  remainder  of  his  life, 
he  depended  more  and  more  on  his  wife,  and  Isabella 
had  a  large  share  in  the  management  of  public  affairs. 
"  Here  you  may  rest  assured,"  wrote  Equicola  to 
Duke  Alfonso,  "that  everything  is  referred  to 
Madonna,  and  not  a  leaf  is  allowed  to  stir  without 
her  knowledge  and  consent."  But  the  task  was  by 
no  means  easy,  and  she  had  to  steer  her  way  through 
many  perilous  rocks.  On  his  recovery,  Juhus  II. 
resumed  his  former  plans  with  fresh  energy,  and  in 
October  1511,  a  Holy  League  between  Spain, 
Venice,  and  the  Pope  was  proclaimed  in  Rome. 
Towards  the  end  of  January  1512,  the  Spanish  and 
papal  forces  under  Raymond  de  Cardona,  Viceroy  of 
Naples,  besieged  Bologna,  and  the  Venetians  took 
Brescia.  But  this  town  was  quickly  recovered  and 
cruelly  sacked  by  Louis  the  Twelfth's  nephew,  Gaston 
de  Foix,  after  which  this  dashing  young  soldier 
followed  up  his  success  by  invading  Romagna.     On 

1  Luzio  in  Giom.  St.  d.  Lett,  1899,  pp.  44.-4(). 


Easter  Day,  the  two  armies  met  on  the  plains  near 
Ravenna,  and  after  a  fiercely  contested  fight,  the 
superiority  of  Alfonso  d'Este's  artillery  decided  the 
fortunes  of  the  day.  The  army  of  the  League  was 
completely  defeated,  and  Cardinal  Medici,  the  Pope's 
legate,  two  of  his  generals,  Fabrizio  Colonna  and  the 
Marquis  of  Pescara,  were  made  prisoners,  with  all  their 
guns  and  banners.  But  the  victorious  general,  Gaston 
de  Foix,  fell  in  the  thick  of  the  fight,  and  there  was  no 
one  left  to  take  his  place.  The  army  was  demoralised, 
and  their  leaders  soon  began  to  quarrel.  Alfonso 
d'Este  retired  to  Ferrara,  and  the  Duke  of  Urbino, 
who  had  refused  to  move  hitherto,  now  advanced 
with  fresh  forces  to  his  uncle's  help,  and  once  more 
received  the  baton  of  command,  while,  at  a  summons 
from  the  Holy  Father,  a  strong  body  of  Swiss,  under 
Cardinal  Schinner,  descended  on  Milan.  On  the 
3rd  of  May,  only  three  weeks  after  the  disastrous 
defeat  of  Ravenna,  the  Pope,  whose  indomitable 
courage  never  quailed,  opened  the  Lateran  Council, 
and  pronounced  the  Council  of  Pisa  to  be  null  and 
void.  A  month  later,  the  Milanese  rose  in  arms,  and 
once  more  threw  off  the  hated  yoke  of  France.  The 
French  generals  withdrew  their  troops  beyond  the 
Alps,  and  Bologna  opened  its  gates  to  the  papal 
legate.  The  Pope's  triumph  was  complete,  and  he 
ordered  solemn  processions  and  thanksgivings 
throughout  the  churches  for  the  deliverance  of 

Meanwhile,  Isabella's  precious  boy  was  stiU  living 
in  the  Vatican,  and,  much  as  she  longed  to  clasp  him 
in  her  arms,  she  was  too  keenly  sensible  of  the  im- 
portance of  keeping  the  Pope  in  good  humour  to 
urge  his  return.     Since  Julius  the  Second's  recovery 



from  his  illness,  Federico's  ascendancy  with  the  old 
man  had  become  greater  than  ever.  He  accompanied 
His  Holiness  to  the  opening  of  the  Lateran  Council, 
wearing  a  sword  and  cuirass  over  a  suit  of  white  satin 
and  gold  brocade,  embroidered  with  the  Greek  letters 
alpha  and  omega,  which  his  mother  had  sent  him 
for  the  occasion,  and  a  velvet  cap  with  a  gold  medal 
of  Hercules,  by  Caradosso.  The  Pope,  Stazio  reports, 
was  highly  amused  at  the  sight  of  Federico's  warlike 
aiTay,  and  flourished  his  stick  at  him,  calling  out : 
"  Are  you  ready  to  fight  me  ? "  But,  after  mass  had 
been  sung, the  young  prince  escaped  from  the  long  ora- 
tions and  tedious  ceremonies  which  followed,  and  was 
conducted  by  Agostino  Chigi  to  dine  at  the  Convent 
of  San  Gregorio  on  the  Aventine,  and  Hsten  to  the 
Aretine's  comic  recitations.  Many  were  the  splendid 
entertainments  which  the  wealthy  merchant  gave  in 
Federico's  honour,  feasting  him,  as  Gadio  tells 
Isabella,  with  an  abundance  of  delicate  viands,  the 
best  wines  and  most  excellent  melons  and  fruits  in 
the  world,  and  bringing  peasant  children '  from  his 
native  Siena  to  act  pastoral  plays  before  him.  One 
day  he  took  him  to  see  his  alum  quarries  at  Civita- 
vecchia, and  spend  Sunday  at  a  hunting  lodge  in 
the  forest,  where  the  immense  quantities  of  fish  and 
game  with  which  the  table  was  loaded  amazed  the 
honest  Mantuan  tutor,  who  could  not  understand 
how  such  luxuries  should  spring  up  in  these  wild 
and  desert  places. 

On  the  Feast  of  St.  Sebastian,  Federico  visited 
the  basilica  of  S.  Paolo  fuori  le  Mura,  to  obtain  certain 
indulgences  attached  to  a  crucifix  before  which  St. 
Bridget  prayed,  and  which  is  still  preserved  in  a  side- 
chapel.     After  dining  with  the  Benedictine  Fathers, 


he  was  taken  over  a  ship,  manned  by  galley-slaves 
in  the  Tiber,  by  the  Genoese  captain  of  the  Pope's 
galleys.  A  salute  was  fired  and  trumpets  blown  in 
honour  of  his  visit,  but  the  sight  of  the  poor  gaUey- 
slaves  filled  him  and  his  companions  with  compassion. 
"  I  have  never  seen  galley  -  slaves  before,"  wrote 
Grossino  to  the  Marchesa,  "  but  I  think  few  persons 
would  not  be  grieved  to  see  these  poor  men  chained 
by  the  leg  and  wearing  hardly  any  clothes.  They  live 
on  bread  and  water,  and  their  skin  is  blackened  with 
exposure.  Poor  fellows  !  I  think  they  must  envy  the 
dead  I  Their  only  pastime  is  to  make  ropes  when  they 
are  resting."  Yet  these  unhappy  men  mingled  their 
shouts  of  joy  with  the  discharge  of  the  artillery,  and 
Signor  Federico,  the  secretary  hastens  to  add,  gave 
many  of  them  money.  Grossino  proceeds  to  relate 
how  he  visited  the  Church  of  St.  Sebastian  on  his 
way  back,  and  saw  the  marble  block  with  the  print  of 
our  Lord's  feet,  and  how,  in  spite  of  a  heavy  down- 
pour of  rain,  aU  Rome  seemed  to  be  there.  In  the 
same  letter,  Grossino  describes  a  visit  which  he  paid, 
on  the  Feast  of  St.  Agnes,  to  the  well-known  church 
of  that  name,  two  miles  without  the  gates.  "  This," 
he  writes,  "  is  a  most  ancient  sanctuary,  as  old  as  any 
in  Rome,  and  full  of  fine  antiques."  He  describes 
the  six  carved  and  finely  polished  candelabra  of  white 
stone,  the  rich  marbles  of  the  long  flight  of  stairs 
leading  up  to  the  church,  and  the  ancient  chapel  of 
S.  Costanza,  containing  the  porphyry  sarcophagus 
which  was,  he  remarks,  once  sacred  to  Bacchus,  but 
now  holds  the  ashes  of  a  saint.  This  porphyry  tomb, 
adorned,  as  Grossino  tells  his  mistress,  with  reliefs  of 
Cupids  gathering  in  the  vintage,  is  now  in  the  Vatican, 
as  well  as  the  six  candelabra,  but  the  fourth-century 


mosaics  of  genii  picking  and  pressing  the  grapes, 
wliich  he  (les('ri])es  as  the  oldest  and  some  of  the 
finest  in  Rome,  may  still  be  seen  on  the  vaulted 
roof.  The  Mantuan  secretary  ends  his  letter  by 
giving  Isabella  a  long  and  minute  description  of  the 
famous  statue  of  the  river-god  Tiber,  with  the  wolf 
suckling  Romulus  and  Remus,  which  had  just  been 
dug  up  in  a  house  close  to  the  Dominican  Convent  of 
Sta.  Maria  sopra  Minerva.  The  discovery  attracted 
crowds  from  all  parts  of  Rome,  and  the  marble  group 
was  promptly  bought  by  the  Pope,  and  placed  in  the 
Belvedere,  together  with  a  Sleeping  Nymph,  generally 
known  as  Ariadne,  but  which  Grossino  calls  a  Cleo- 
patra, and  which  was  celebrated  as  such  in  an  elegant 
set  of  Latin  hexameters  by  Castiglione.  In  an  earher 
letter,  of  July  12,  1511,  Grossino  also  mentions  the 
famous  Apollo,  "  a  statue,"  he  writes,  "  held  to  be 
no  less  fine  than  the  Laocoon,"  which  had  been 
discovered  some  years  before  on  a  farm  at  Grotta- 
ferrata,  belonging  to  Pope  JuUus  when  he  was  still 
Cardinal  della  Rovere,  and  was  now  removed  to  the 
Vatican.  Another  of  Grossino's  letters  gives  a  curious 
description  of  the  so-called  Feast  of  the  Jews  at 
carnival,  when  twelve  Jews  ran  a  race  on  foot  from 
the  Piazza  di  S.  Pietro  to  the  Castel  Sant'  Angelo. 
Messer  Rabi,  the  Pope's  Hebrew  doctor,  presided  at 
this  fete,  and  one  hundred  armed  Jews  rode  before  him, 
while  fifty  others  marched  at  his  side,  bearing  olive 
boughs  and  banners  with  the  Pope's  arms,  and  those 
of  the  city  of  Rome,  S.P.Q.R.  The  scarlet  pallium 
was  presented  to  the  winner  by  the  Senator,  amid 
shouts  of  Julio  I  and  the  Jews  who  took  part  in  the 
race  were  entertained  at  Messer  Rabi's  house. 
Federico  also  attended   the   bull-baiting   and   horse 


races  on  the  Piazza  di  S.  Pietro,  and  a  splendid 
masquerade  in  the  Campo  dei  Fiori,  when  Isabella's 
uncle,  the  handsome  Cardinal  of  Aragon,  and  several 
other  Monsignori,  appeared  on  Arab  horses  in  mag- 
nificent Hungarian  costumes,  blazing  with  gold  and 
silver  and  jewels,  with  belts  and  scimitars,  boots  and 
spurs  to  match.^ 

The  Marchesa,  we  may  be  sure,  appreciated  these 
details  fully,  and  was  still  better  pleased  to  hear  how 
diligently  Federico  studied  Greek  and  mathematics 
with  Raphael's  friend,  the  learned  old  humanist,  Fabio 
Calvi  of  Ravenna,  whose  frugal  habits  and  devotion 
to  his  studies  filled  his  pleasure-loving  contemporaries 
with  amazement.  Her  maternal  pride  was  highly 
flattered  when  Filippo  Beroaldo  composed  an  ode  in 
honour  of  Federico,  and  she  wrote  back  that  she 
hoped  this  would  encourage  him  to  still  greater 
efforts,  even  though  she  could  hardly  believe  that  he 
possessed  all  the  excellent  gifts  which  the  poet 
ascribed  to  him.  She  now  resolved  to  make  use  of 
Federico's  influence  with  the  Pope  to  pave  the  way 
for  a  reconciliation  between  His  Holiness  and  her 
brother  Alfonso. 

The  Duke,  finding  himself  abandoned  by  his 
French  allies,  humbly  asked  leave  to  come  to  Rome 
and  obtain  absolution  from  the  Pope.  He  had  a 
powerful  friend  at  the  Vatican  in  the  person  of 
Fabrizio  Colonna,  Elisabetta  Gonzaga's  brother-in- 
law,  whom  he  had  taken  prisoner  in  the  battle  of 
Ravenna,  and  released  without  ransom.  At  his 
intercession,  Julius  consented  to  grant  the  Duke  a 
safe  conduct  for  his  journey,  and  Alfonso  came  to 
Rome   in   July,    accompanied    by    Isabella's    Latin 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  pp.  28-34. 


teacher,  Mario  Equicola,  and  took  up  his  abode  in 
the  house  of  Cardinal  Gonzaga,  near  S.  I^orenzo  in 
Lucina.  Federico  obtained  leave  to  entertain  his 
uncle  at  a  banquet  in  the  Vatican,  and  afterwards 
gave  a  concert  in  his  honour,  at  which  the  best 
singers  and  musicians  in  Rome  performed.  Before 
dinner,  the  Duke  visited  the  Borgia  apartments, 
where  he  greatly  admired  Pinturicchio's  frescoes,  and 
afterwards  expressed  so  much  anxiety  to  see  the  vault 
of  the  chapel  which  Michel  Angelo  was  painting,  that 
Federico  sent  to  ask  Buonarroti,  in  the  Pope's  name, 
if  his  uncle  might  ascend  the  scaffolding.  The  desired 
permission  was  given,  and  "the  Duke,"  writes  Gros- 
sino,  "went  up  into  the  vault  with  several  gentle- 
men of  his  suite.  One  by  one  they  came  down  again, 
all  but  the  Duke,  who  could  not  satisfy  his  eyes  with 
gazing  at  these  figures,  and  remained  up  there  for  a 
long  time  talking  to  Michel  Angelo,  and  ended  by 
begging  him  to  paint  him  a  picture,  for  which  he 
offered  a  large  sum,  and  the  master  promised  that  he 
w^ould  do  this.  Meanwhile,  Signor  Federico,  seeing 
that  His  Excellency  remained  so  long  in  the  vault, 
took  his  gentlemen  to  see  the  Pope's  rooms,  and  those 
which  Raphael  of  Urbino  is  painting,  and  when  the 
Duke  came  down  he  wished  to  show  him  the  Pope's 
room,  and  the  stanze  which  Raphael  is  painting,  but 
His  Excellency  refused  to  go  there,  and  his  gentlemen 
told  me  that  he  had  too  much  respect  for  the  Pope  to 
enter  the  room  where  His  Holiness  slept."  ^ 

The  next  day,  Fabrizio  Colonna  introduced  the 
Duke  into  the  Pope's  presence,  while  immense 
crowds  assembled  at  the  Vatican  gates,  hoping  to 
see  the  redoubted  victor  of  Ferrara  do  penance  as 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  p.  37. 


Barbarossa  of  old  at  the  feet  of  His  Holiness ;  but 
the  Pope's  first  greeting  was  friendly  enough.  He 
welcomed  Fabrizio  as  one  of  the  deliverers  of  Italy, 
and  gave  Alfonso  absolution  in  private  only,  desiring 
him  to  visit  the  four  principal  churches  in  Rome,  and 
agreed  to  appoint  a  Commission  of  Cardinals  to  settle 
the  terms  of  his  reconciliation.^  Before  the  Duke 
left,  he  asked  him  to  release  his  unfortunate  brothers, 
Ferrante  and  Giulio,  who  had  implored  the  Holy 
Father  to  save  them  from  their  misery,  but  could 
obtain  no  satisfaction  on  this  point,  and  Alfonso's 
uncle,  the  Cardinal  of  Aragon,  declared  that  he 
thought  they  were  dead.  But  when  the  terms  of  the 
agreement  were  discussed,  it  appeared  that  the  Pope, 
who  had  already  taken  possession  of  Modena  and 
Reggio,  demanded  the  cession  of  Ferrara  itself,  and 
offered  the  Duke  the  town  of  Asti  in  exchange. 
When  Alfonso  indignantly  refused  to  accept  these 
terms,  the  Pope  broke  out  into  one  of  his  most 
furious  passions,  and  Fabrizio  Colonna,  fearing  for  his 
guest's  safety,  helped  him  to  leave  Rome  by  night 
and  escape  secretly,  first  to  his  castle  of  Marino,  and 
afterwards  to  Ferrara.^  After  this,  the  Pope's  anger 
knew  no  bounds.  He  began  proceedings  against  the 
Duke  as  a  rebellious  vassal,  threatened  Colonna  with 
vengeance,  and  stormed  at  every  one  around  him. 
When  Alfonso  sent  Ariosto  to  try  and  appease  his 
wrath,  he  only  raged  the  more,  and  bade  the  poet 
begone  from  his  sight,  or  he  would  order  him  to  be 
drowned  in  the  Tiber.^      But  this  time  the  fiery  old 

^  Sanuto,  xiv. ;  Pastor,  op.  cit.  ;  Bro'=;c!i,  op.  cii.,  352. 

2  Paride  Grassi,  Diarii,  British  Museum  MSS. ;  Pastor,  op.  cit. 

3  F.  Vettori,  Arch.  St.,  App.,  vi.  288  ;  Guicciardini,  Opere  Inedite, 
vi.  83. 


Pontiff  had  gone  too  far.  Even  his  allies  resented  his 
violence,  and  King  Ferdinand  told  Guicciardini,  the 
Florentine  envoy  at  the  Court  of  Spain,  that  he  had 
no  intention  of  allowing  the  Pope  to  seize  Ferrara 
and  become  another  Borgia.^ 

^  Guicciardini,  op.  inedite,  vi.  88. 



The  Congress  of  Mantua — The  Viceroy  of  Naples,  Bishop  of  Gurk, 
and  Giuliano  dei  Medici  at  Mantua — MaximiUan  Sforza  de- 
clared Duke  of  Milan  by  the  allies — Isabella's  intrigues  in  his 
favour — The  Medici  restored  by  Spanish  troops — Sack  of  Prato 
and  return  of  Giuliano  and  Giovanni  dei  Medici  to  Florence 
— Congratulations  of  Isabella — Her  intrigues  on  behalf  of  Fer- 
rara — The  Pope's  threats — Cardinal  Gurk  in  Rome — Carnival 
fetes  and  Fra  Mariano — Federico's  portrait  painted  by  Raphael 
— Death  of  Julius  II. — Election  of  Pope  Leo  X. — Bibbiena 
becomes  a  Cardinal. 

Early  in  the  month  of  August  1512,  the  represen- 
tatives of  the  allied  powers  met  at  Mantua,  where 
a  prolonged  conference  took  place,  and  Isabella 
d'Este  displayed  her  usual  tact  and  ability  in  the 
conduct  of  negotiations.  On  this  occasion,  her  friend 
the  Bishop  of  Gurk  again  represented  the  Emperor, 
and  Raimondo  de  Cardona,  Viceroy  of  Naples,  visited 
Mantua  for  the  first  time  as  King  Ferdinand's  deputy. 
Giuliano  dei  Medici  and  his  clever  secretary,  Bernardo 
da  Bibbiena,  were  the  agents  accredited  by  the  Pope, 
while  Giovanni  Soderini,  the  brother  of  the  Gonfa- 
loniere,  was  the  nominal  representative  of  Florence, 
but  soon  found  that  he  possessed  little  authority. 
The  Pope  was  determined  to  punish  the  Republic  for 
her  adhesion  to  France,  and  the  restoration  of  the 
Medici  had  already  been  secretly  agreed  upon,  but 
the  great  question  which  occupied  the  envoys  was 

VOL.  IL  "  'E 


the  settlement  of  Milan.  Both  Maximilian  and  Fer- 
dinand would  have  liked  to  bestow  the  Duchy  on 
their  young  grandson,  Charles,  but  neither  the  Pope 
nor  Venice  and  Mantua  would  agree  to  this,  and  the 
Swiss,  who  held  Milan,  and  were  the  real  masters  of 
the  situation,  declared  at  once  in  favour  of  Maximilian 
Sforza,  the  Moro's  elder  son.  Since  the  first  con- 
quest of  Milan  by  the  French  in  1499,  this  youth 
had  been  brought  up  at  Innsbriick,  with  his  brother 
Francesco,  in  the  care  of  his  cousin,  the  Empress 
Bianca,  and  was  more  of  a  German  than  an  Italian 
in  his  habits  and  tastes.  He  was  now  nineteen,  and 
showed  little  signs  of  his  father's  talent  or  his  mother's 
high  spirit ;  but  Isabella  could  not  forget  that  he  was 
her  nephew,  and  not  only  rejoiced  that  Beatrice's  son 
should  reign  on  his  father's  throne,  but  saw  in  his 
accession  a  new  opportunity  for  the  advancement  of 
her  family's  interests.  She  threw  herself  heart  and 
soul  into  the  young  prince's  cause,  and  lost  no  oppor- 
tunity of  urging  his  claims  on  Lang  and  Cardona,  as 
well  as  on  Giuliano  dei  Medici  and  Bibbiena,  who 
were  already  her  sworn  friends  and  allies.  The 
Viceroy  soon  fell  a  prey  to  the  charms  of  the  brilliant 
Marchesa  and  her  lovely  maids-of-honour.  The 
intervals  of  business  were  filled  with  music  and  song, 
with  pleasant  society  and  gay  jests,  and  while  Giuliano 
and  the  handsome  Bernardo  declared  themselves  to  be 
in  love  with  fair  Alda  Boiarda,  Cardona  and  the  Bishop 
were  at  the  feet  of  the  fascinating  beauty  Brognina. 
Isabella  herself  had  a  happy  knack  of  discussing  grave 
political  questions  at  these  lively  Uttle  dances  and 
suppers,  and  she  knew,  above  all,  how  to  govern 
others  without  ever  allowing  her  influence  to  appear. 
In  this  case,  the  choice  of  Maximilian  Sforza  agreed 


particularly  well  with  the  interests  of  the  confederates, 
as  one  of  the  most  clear-sighted  Florentine  statesmen 
of  the  day  remarked  :  "  The  Pope  wished  to  have  a 
weak  Duke  of  Milan,  so  as  to  dispose  of  the  wealthy 
benefices  in  the  Duchy  at  his  will.  The  Bishop  of 
Gurk  only  cared  to  raise  as  much  money  as  possible 
for  his  imperial  master.  The  Viceroy  wished  to 
quarter  his  Spanish  troops  in  Lombardy  and  receive 
pay  for  them.  The  Swiss  counted  on  getting  their 
hire  from  the  Duke,  and  remaining  the  real  masters 
of  Milan  ;  and  Venice  looked  forward  to  an  easy 
triumph  over  a  feeble  prince."^  So  the  business  of 
the  conference  was  speedily  despatched  in  a  manner 
agreeable  to  all  parties,  saving  the  unfortunate  Floren- 
tine envoy,  whose  opinion  was  seldom  asked.  When 
he  left  Mantua,  the  doom  of  Florence  was  already 

On  the  21st  of  August,  the  Spanish  army  entered 
Tuscany  with  the  Medici  brothers,  and  when  the 
Gonfaloniere  sent  troops  to  oppose  their  advance, 
Prato  was  stormed  and  cruelly  sacked.  On  the 
31st,  GiuHano  sent  the  Marchesa  the  following 
note  2  in  Bibbiena's  writing :  "  I  know  well  that 
Your  Excellency  will  rejoice  in  my  happiness,  and 
therefore  hasten  to  tell  you  that  to-morrow  my  most 
reverend  brother  and  I  are  about  to  return  to  our 
home,  and  take  possession  of  our  own  house,  with 
the  consent  of  the  whole  city  of  Florence.  An 
infinite  number  of  citizens  have  come  here  to  con- 
gratulate us  on  our  good  fortune.  The  good  news 
will,  I  know,  give  Your  Excellency  and  her  illustrious 
lord  the  greatest  pleasure,  so  I  send  a  courier  to  tell 

1  Francesco  Vettori,  iS/on'a  c^'/to/ia,  1511-1527,  in  Arch.  St.  It.,  yi. 

2  Pastor,  "  Hist,  of  the  Popes,"  vi.  654. 


you  this,  and  to  remind  you  that  I  shall  be  as 
entirely  at  your  service,  when  I  am  back  in  my 
home,  as  I  have  been  during  my  long  exile.  I 
commend  myself  to  my  dear  Madonna  Alda  and 
Equicola,  and  all  your  noble  court,  and  so  does  the 
Moccicone,  vv^ho  is  your  faithful  servant. — Your  ser- 
vant, GiULiANO  DEI  Medici."     Prato,  31st  August, 

9    P.M. 

The  next  day  the  tw^o  brothers  entered  Florence 
in  state,  and  Isabella  sent  Giuliano  her  warmest 
congratulations.  "  I  thank  Your  Signory,"  she  writes, 
"  for  this  happy  news,  and  assure  you  that  nothing 
could  give  me  greater  pleasure.  I  rejoice  to  think 
that  your  return  to  your  own  house  should  be 
accomplished  without  any  tumult,  and  with  the 
consent  of  the  RepubUc,  and  hold  this  for  a  good 
augury  of  your  future  peace  and  prosperity.  I  feel 
sure  that  your  return  will  excite  the  less  opposition, 
and  will  be  the  more  grateful  to  all,  since  it  has 
been  so  fortunately  effected  without  any  bloodshed. 
And  tell  Moccicone  how  much  we  all  rejoice  with 
him,  in  this  the  greatest  joy  that  he  has  ever  had."  ^ 

So  Isabella  wrote,  in  unconscious  irony,  ignorant 
of  the  horrible  cruelties  of  the  Spanish  soldiers,  and 
of  the  thousands  of  innocent  women  and  children 
who  had  fallen  victims  to  their  greed  and  lust.  She 
was  not  without  her  own  anxieties  at  the  time, 
and,  in  a  letter  to  Cardinal  d'Este,^  she  tells  him 
of  a  stormy  interview  that  had  taken  place  between 
the  Pope  and  the  Mantuan  envoy,  in  which  His 
Holiness  complained  bitterly  of  the  Marquis  saying 
that,   owing  to   him,   the    Diet   had   been   held   at 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova  e  Urbino,  p.  222. 

2  Guasti,  Sacco  di  Prato. 


Mantua  instead  of  in  Rome,  to  the  shame  and  dis- 
honour of  the  Church,  and  that  now  Gurk  refused 
to  appear  before  him.  "  He  accuses  us,'"  continues 
Isabella,  "of  giving  shelter  to  the  Ferrarese,  and 
swears  that  if  you  and  the  Duchess  and  her  children 
come  to  Mantua,  he  will  order  his  army  to  march 
against  this  state  instead  of  Ferrara,  regardless  of 
the  Emperor's  wishes,  and  will  send  Federico  to 
the  Torresella  of  Venice,  together  with  many  bad 
words."  ^ 

The  old  Pope's  anger  would  have  been  still  more 
fierce  if  he  could  have  seen  the  letters  and  messages 
which  Isabella  sent  repeatedly  to  her  son-in-law  of 
Urbino,  begging  him,  for  her  sake,  to  spare  Ferrara, 
and  do  as  httle  injury  as  possible  to  her  brother's 
subjects.  Castiglione,  who  was  at  Urbino,  and  who 
had,  as  Isabella  told  her  brothers,  more  influence 
with  the  Duke  than  any  one  else,  sent  her  consoHng 
assurances,  and  while  the  Marquis  wrote  groveUing 
letters  to  the  Pope,  promising  to  send  him  the  first 
of  the  Este  traitors  who  dared  set  foot  on  his  ter- 
ritory, Francesco  Maria  wasted  so  much  time  over 
his  preparations  that  it  became  necessary  to  suspend 
military  operations  until  the  spring.  Meanwhile 
Parma  and  Piacenza  were  given  up  to  the  Church, 
and  sent  delegates  with  splendid  presents  to  Rome. 
Finally,  on  the  4th  of  November,  the  Bishop  of 
Gurk  himself  arrived  at  the  Vatican,  and  pubhcly 
announced  the  Emperor's  adhesion  to  the  Lateran 
Council.  The  Pope,  overjoyed  at  this  triumph,  wel- 
comed Maximilian's  ambassador  with  royal  honours, 
and  raised  him  to  the  dignity  of  Cardinal.  On 
the   25th   of  November,  the  new  aUiance  between 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova  e  Urbino,  p.  205. 


the  Emperor  and  the  Pope  was  solemnly  proclaimed 
in  S.  Maria  del  Popolo,  and  Federico  rode  at  the 
Pope's  side,  "  looking,"  wrote  Stazio  Gadio,  "  as 
beautiful  as  an  angel,"  in  a  suit  of  gold  and  peacock 
satin,  with  a  white  velvet  cap  and  fine  white  feathers, 
given  him  by  his  mother,  fastened  by  a  diamond 
clasp,  with  the  letters  A.C.R.V.,  "which  His 
Holiness  thus  interprets,  ^ Anior  caro  ritorna  vivo' 
— '  Dear  love,  come  home  safe.'  "  ^ 

The  following  Christmas  and  carnival  were  cele- 
brated with  greater  gaiety  than  had  been  known 
for  many  years  in  Rome.  The  banquets  and  suppers 
to  which  Federico  was  invited  at  the  house  of  his 
uncle,  Sigismondo  Gonzaga,  and  of  the  other  Car- 
dinals, were  marked  by  a  wild  revelry  and  an  absence 
of  decorum  which  his  mother  would  hardly  have 
approved,  and  Stazio  felt  it  necessary  to  suppress 
certain  incidents  in  his  letters  to  the  IMarchesa. 
He  does  not,  for  instance,  mention  the  presence  of 
the  Roman  courtesan  Albina  at  Cardinal  Gonzaga's 
house,  one  night  when  Fra  Mariano  jumped  on 
the  table,  and,  gallantly  assisted  by  Bibbiena,  threw 
chickens  at  each  other,  and  smeared  the  guests' 
faces  with  soup  and  sauce  from  the  dishes  on  the 
table.^  This  Fra  Mariano  Fetti,  whose  presence  was 
so  much  in  request  among  the  members  of  the 
Sacred  College,  and  in  whose  company,  Stazio  writes, 
it  was  impossible  not  to  be  liierry,  afterwards  became 
the  favourite  buffoon  of  Leo  X.,  and  held  the  luc- 
rative post  of  Pio?}ibatore,  or  Keeper  of  the  Papal 
Seals,  for  many  years.  He  professed  great  devotion 
to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  who  repeatedly  presented 

*  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  40. 
8  Ibid,,  p.  47. 


the  pallium  which  his  horses  won  on  the  Corso  to 
the  friar's  convent  of  S.  Silvestro,  and  his  witty 
letters  abound  in  affectionate  messages  to  the  Mar- 
chesa  and  the  caro  Marchesino.  In  the  midst  of 
these  carnival  festivities,  he  and  Bibbiena  were 
summoned  by  their  patron,  Cardinal  Medici,  to 
Florence,  and  from  the  convent  of  San  Marco,  in 
that  city,  the  Frate  addressed  a  long  letter  to  the 
Marquis,  in  which,  after  condoling  with  him  on  his 
long  illness,  and  praising  the  charms  of  his  sweet 
little  son,  whose  young  face  has  refreshed  and  re- 
newed the  life  of  the  old  city  of  Rome,  he  tells  him 
that  he,  the  poor  friar,  has  only  two  wishes  left  in 
the  world.  One  is  to  visit  the  sanctuary  of  S.  Maria 
di  Loreto ;  the  other  to  come  to  Mantua,  to  see  his 
dear  lord  and  the  famous  palazzina  which  contains 
the  Triumphs  of  Petrarch  (?)  by  Andrea  Mantegna, 
the  glory  of  Mantua.  If  it  were  not  for  the  horrors 
of  wind,  snow  and  rain,  of  mud  and  marshes,  he 
would  fly  thither  at  once  and  taste  of  the  good  fish 
of  Garda ;  but  once  let  the  spring  come,  and  he  will 
set  out  without  delay  to  spend  a  joyous  week  in 
the  company  of  his  lord,  for  whose  health  all  good 
Dominicans  never  cease  to  pray.i 

But  the  most  splendid  pageant  held  in  Rome 
during  the  carnival  of  1513  was  a  procession  repre- 
senting the  Triumph  of  Pope  Julius  II.,  which 
started  from  the  Capitol  and  passed  down  the  Corso 
to  the  bridge  of  Sant'  Angelo  and  along  the  Via 
de'  Pontefici  to  the  Agone.  In  this  strange  mas- 
querade the  victory  of  the  Pope  over  the  French, 
the  deliverance  of  captive  Italy,  and  the  sittings  of 
the   Lateran   Council,  were  all  set  forth ;   and  the 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit,  p.  48. 


different  cities  were  represented  by  symbolic  figures 
and  groups,  with  the  usual  abundance  of  scriptural 
and  classical  allusions — JNIoses  lifting  up  the  brazen 
serpent  in  the  wilderness,  Phaeton  faUing  from 
Heaven,  and  the  sun-god  Apollo,  throned  in  his 
temple  of  Delphi,  triumphing  over  all  his  foes.  But 
while  the  long  procession,  which  Isabella's  corre- 
spondents describe  minutely  in  their  letters,  was 
winding  through  the  crowded  streets,  amid  the 
acclamations  of  all  Rome,  the  Pope  himself  was 
dying  in  the  Vatican,  and  not  all  the  science  of  the 
learned  Jewish  physician  could  bring  back  the  breath 
of  life  into  the  old  man's  worn-out  frame.  On  the 
18th  of  February,  Stazio  Gadio  wrote  to  tell  the 
Marquis  that  the  Pope  was  suffering  from  a  sudden 
attack  of  fever,  and  that  the  worst  was  feared. 
The  Cardinals  had  placed  guards  at  the  gates  of 
the  Vatican,  and  some  of  the  captains  had  asked 
Federico  to  take  the  command  of  the  papal  troops. 
On  all  sides  people  were  removing  their  property 
for  fear  of  a  tumult,  and  Signor  Federico  himself 
was  doubtful  whether  to  remain  or  not,  but  would 
follow  his  uncle  Cardinal  Gonzaga's  directions.  Per- 
fect order  was  maintained,  however,  and  Federico 
remained  quietly  in  his  rooms. 

A  year  before  this,  on  the  24th  of  May  1512, 
Isabella  d'Este  had  written  to  desire  that  her  son's 
portrait  should  be  painted  by  Raphael.  "  Since  we 
have  been  obliged,"  she  writes  to  Ippoliti,  "to  give 
away  the  portrait  of  our  son  Federico,  which  was 
painted  at  Bologna,  we  wish  to  have  another, 
especially  as  we  hear  he  is  still  handsomer  and  more 
graceful  than  he  was  then.  We  desire  you  to  see  if 
the  painter  Raphael,  the  son  of  Giovarmi  Santi  of 


Urbino,  is  now  in  Rome.  If  he  is,  ask  him  to 
paint  a  bust  of  Federico  in  armour,  but  if  Raphael 
should  not  be  there,  find  out  who  is  the  best  master 
next  to  him,  since  we  do  not  wish  to  have  him 
painted  by  an  inferior  artist,  but  desire  that  his 
portrait  should  be  taken  by  some  good  master,  whom 
we  will  treat  with  our  usual  honourable  courtesy. 
And  tell  him  that  we  should  hke  the  portrait  to 
be  life-size  and  painted  as  soon  as  possible,  since 
there  is  nothing  that  we  wish  for  more." 

A  whole  year  passed,  however,  before  Raphael 
was  able  to  undertake  the  commission.  At  length, 
on  the  13th  of  January  1513,  he  invited  the  young 
prince  to  give  him  his  first  sitting.  "  Yesterday," 
wrote  Stazio  Gadio  to  the  Marchesa,  "  Federico 
armed  himself  with  Your  Excellency's  doublet,  put 
on  his  plumed  hat  and  gold  cape,  and  went  to 
have  his  portrait  painted  by  Maestro  Raphael  of 
Urbino,  painter  to  His  Holiness,  who  took  a  sketch 
of  him  in  charcoal  in  this  dress,  which  he  will  paint 

"  M.  Raphael  of  Urbino,"  adds  Grossino,  "  has 
begun  to  paint  Signor  Federico  in  the  costume 
which  he  wore  at  the  opening  of  the  Council,  armed 
with  the  doublet  and  wearing  the  hat  which  Your 
Excellency  sent  him." 

A  month  later,  on  the  15th  of  February,  Grossino 
wrote  again :  "  As  for  S.  Federico' s  portrait,  I  ask 
M.  Raphael  constantly  how  it  is  progressing ;  he 
tells  me  that  he  is  working  at  it,  and  that  I  need 
have  no  fear,  since  he  is  very  anxious  to  paint  this 
portrait  and  serve  Your  Excellency  well."  But  four 
days  after  this,  Grossino  wrote :  "  M.  Raphael  of 
Urbino    has    returned    the    cape    and    doublet    of 

74  DEATH   OF   JULIUS   II. 

S.  Federico,  in  which  he  was  to  paint  his  portrait,  and 
begs  Your  Excellency  to  pardon  him,  since,  at  the 
present  time,  it  is  impossible  for  him  to  give  his 
mind  to  the  work." 

His  great  patron's  life  was  fast  ebbing  away, 
and  that  very  night  of  the  20th  of  February  the 
Pope  breathed  his  last.  The  heroic  nature  of  the 
man  was  never  more  evident  than  on  his  death- 
bed. Cardinal  Gonzaga,  in  a  letter  which  he  wrote 
to  Mantua  that  evening,  owns  that  he  and  all  his 
brother  Cardinals  were  moved  to  tears  when  the 
dying  Pope  bade  them  farewell,  and  calmly  gave 
them  his  last  blessing.  He  asked  them  to  pray  for 
his  soul,  saying  that  he  had  been  a  great  sinner, 
and  had  not  governed  the  Church  well.  And 
with  perfect  composure  he  gave  directions  for  the 
coming  Conclave,  and  begged  them  to  observe  his 
laws  against  simony  and  keep  their  hands  pure. 
"  After  we  had  kissed  his  hand  and  received  his  last 
blessing,  he  took  leave  of  us  with  the  utmost  forti- 
tude, but  not  without  many  tears  on  our  part.  I 
confess  I  could  not  help  weeping  when  I  remembered 
aU  the  benefits  which  Your  Excellency  and  all  our 
house,  but  I  above  all,  have  received  from  him.  And 
I  was  moved  to  tears  even  more  by  the  sight  of  this 
strong  and  constant  soul,  which  the  near  approach 
of  death  could  not  shake,  turning  to  God  our 
Saviour,  and  with  true  greatness  of  heart  remember- 
ing all  those  things  which  most  people  forget  in  their 
last  hours.  His  Holiness  sees,  hears,  understands, 
speaks,  orders,  and  provides,  as  if  he  were  in  full 
strength  and  health,  and  is  perfectly  calm  and  self- 
possessed,  although  he  is  actually  dying."  ^     A  few 

1  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  51. 


hours  later,  Federico  himself  wrote  the  following 
brief  note  to  his  father:  "During  the  past  night, 
at  the  hour  of  half-past  four  on  Monday  morning, 
His  Holiness  Pope  Julius  II.  passed  from  this 
world  into  the  next,  called  by  our  Lord  God  to 
life  eternal."  ^ 

Great  was  the  lamentation  when  the  news  of 
the  Pope's  death  was  made  known.  "  Rome  felt," 
writes  Gregorovius,  "  that  a  kingly  soul  had  passed 
away."  And  Paride  Grassi,  who  had  lived  forty 
years  in  Rome,  says  that  he  never  saw  such  crowds 
at  a  Pope's  funeral  before,  or  such  tokens  of  genuine 
and  widespread  grief.  "  They  thronged  to  kiss  his 
feet  and  gaze  on  his  dead  face,  for  all  recognised 
in  him  a  true  Roman  Pontiff  and  Vicar  of  Christ,  a 
defender  and  protector  of  the  weak  against  tyrants, 
and  the  deliverer  of  Italy  from  the  barbarians."  ^ 

Only  in  Ferrara  was  the  news  of  Julius  the 
Second's  death  hailed  with  satisfaction.  Alfonso 
d'Este  was  delivered  from  his  most  dangerous 
enemy,  and  Isabella  must  have  been  secretly  con- 
scious of  a  deep  sense  of  relief.  Now,  at  least, 
Federico  would  be  set  free,  and  could  return  to 
her  arms  at  once.  As  soon  as  the  Conclave  met 
he  obtained  permission  from  the  Sacred  College  to 
go  to  Mantua,  and  on  the  3rd  of  March  took 
leave  of  the  Cardinals.  "The  door  was  not  quite 
closed,"  writes  honest  Grossino  to  his  mistress,  "so 
I  could  see  through  the  opening  how  His  Highness 
bowed  to  the  ground  and  tried  to  kiss  their  hands, 
but  they  all  embraced  and  kissed  him."  ^ 

1  D'Arco,  Arch.  St.  It.,  App.  ii.  284. 

2  Gregorovius,  Rom,  viii.  113;  Creighton,  v.  189, 
2  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  p.  52. 


A  week  aftei-wards,  Cardinal  Medici  was  pro- 
claimed Pope,  and  his  secretary,  Bibbiena,  wrote 
joyfully  to  inform  the  Marchesa  Isabella  of  his 
patron's  election,  and  to  assure  her  of  Leo  the 
Tenth's  absolute  devotion  to  her  person  and  in- 

"  Your  Signory  will  have  already  heard  this  most 
happy  news  of  the  accession  of  your  most  reverend 
compatre  to  the  pontificate,  which  will,  I  know,  give 
you  immense  joy  and  consolation,  because,  putting 
aside  the  singular  love  which  His  Holiness  and  all 
his  house  have  ever  borne  to  your  illustrious  con- 
sort and  yourself,  you  will  understand  that  the 
safety  of  your  nephew  and  his  state,  as  well  as  that 
of  your  brother,  depends  on  the  elevation  of  your 
compatre  to  the  Holy  See.  So  that  Your  Excel- 
lency has  greater  cause  to  rejoice  over  this  most 
fortunate  event  than  any  other  person  in  the  world, 
and  so  I  too  rejoice  with  Your  Highness  and  con- 
gratulate you  warmly.  His  Holiness  wished  your 
illustrious  fii'st-born  son,  Signor  Federico,  had  been 
still  in  Rome,  when  he  came  out  of  the  Conclave, 
so  as  to  show  him  some  sign  of  that  true  and  great 
affection  for  Your  Excellency  and  the  Marquis,  of 
which  the  Holy  Father  has  already  spoken  re- 
peatedly, and  I  tell  you  this  that  you  may  know 
His  Holiness  has  your  interests  ever  at  his  heart, 
and  loves  you  well."  And  after  many  protestations 
of  his  own  devotion  and  anxiety  to  serve  her,  especi- 
ally now  that,  as  he  modestly  puts  it,  "he  may  be 
of  a  Uttle  more  account  than  he  was  before," 
Bibbiena  ends  by  sending  his  affectionate  greetings 
to  Madonna  Laura  (Giovanni  Gonzaga's  wife),  his 
dear  Madonna  Alda,  and  all  the  Marchesana's  ladies, 


above  all  Isabella  Lavagnolo,  and  her  tutor,  Mario 
Equicola.  ^ 

The  Marchesa  was  at  Milan  when  the  news  of 
Leo's  election  reached  her,  and  sent  Equicola  at 
once  to  kiss  the  new  Pope's  feet  and  offer  him  her 
congratulations.  On  the  28th  of  March,  she  repUed 
to  Bibbiena  in  the  following  letter :  "  You  will  have 
already  heard  from  Mario  Equicola  of  the  joy  and 
delight  with  which  this  happy  event  has  filled  us,  and 
really,  since  the  day  of  our  birth,  we  have  never  had 
any  greater  pleasure  than  this  good  news,  which 
reached  us  immediately  after  we  heard  of  the  death 
of  Pope  Julius.  For  all  of  which  we  praise  and 
thank  our  Lord  God,  hoping  that,  by  the  great 
goodness  and  wisdom  of  His  Holiness,  we  may  see 
the  safety  of  the  Duke  our  brother's  state  secured, 
that  of  our  nephew  the  Duke  of  Milan  established,  as 
well  as  the  honour  and  exaltation  of  our  husband  the 
Marquis  and  the  peace  of  all  Italy  confirmed.  On 
our  own  account  we  are  satisfied  that  we  shall  enjoy 
the  protection  and  perpetual  favour  of  His  Holiness, 
both  because  of  the  bond  of  our  common  sponsorship 
and  of  the  love  and  regard  we  bore  him  as  Cardinal 
dei  Medici,  not  to  speak  of  our  intimate  friendship 
with  his  brother,  the  Magnifico  Giuliano.  No  less  do 
we  reckon  on  the  favour  and  influence  which  you 
will  retain  with  His  Holiness,  feeling  no  doubt  that 
neither  rank  nor  honours  will  change  your  nature, 
but  that  you  wiU  be  as  kind  and  affectionate  to  us  as 
ever,  even  although  we  have  made  you  lose  500 
ducats  I "  ^  After  this  allusion  to  some  wager  between 
them  regarding  the  result  of  the  Conclave,  she  ends 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  op.  cit.,  p.  209. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  211. 


by  congratulating  Bibbiena  on  the  new  dignities  of 
protonotary  and  treasurer  which  the  Pope  had 
bestowed  upon  him.  Equicola,  in  his  letters  from 
Rome,  informed  his  mistress  that  his  friend  Bibbiena 
stood  foremost  in  the  Pope's  favour,  and  was  already 
beset  with  needy  pensioners  seeking  his  good  offices, 
but  told  the  Marchesa  that  he  was  as  gay  and  kindly 
as  ever,  and  quite  unspoilt  by  his  sudden  elevation. 
But  there  are  so  many  Florentines  at  court,  he 
adds,  that  it  is  impossible  to  count  them.  The 
whole  Vatican — indeed,  one  may  say  the  whole  of 
Rome — has  become  Florentine  !  The  Pope,  who  had 
not  forgotten  the  kind  welcome  which  he  had  found 
at  Mantua  a  year  before,  when  he  escaped  from  the 
French  camp,  after  being  made  prisoner  in  the  battle 
of  Ravenna,  received  Isabella's  envoy  most  graciously, 
and  spoke  in  the  warmest  terms  of  the  Marchesa, 
saying  that  he  looked  upon  her  as  a  dear  sister,  only 
that  she  inspired  him  with  more  profound  reverence. 
Bibbiena,  who  was  only  thirty-three  years  of  age, 
now  took  deacon's  orders  with  a  view  to  his  future 
elevation,  and,  as  his  friends  expected,  was  created  a 
Cardinal  in  the  following  autumn.  The  Marchesa 
was  one  of  the  first  to  whom  he  announced  his  new 
dignity,  and,  in  a  graceful  note  bearing  the  date  of 
the  18th  of  October,  he  thanked  her  for  her  kind 
congratulations.  "  Your  Highness,"  he  wrote,  "  will 
not,  I  hope,  think  that  I  am  so  vulgar  as  to  think 
myself  of  more  importance  than  I  was  before,  least  of 
all  with  regard  to  you ;  for,  even  if  this  rank  brings 
me  greater  respect  from  others — which,  indeed,  I 
have  not  as  yet  discovered! — this  can  only  affect 
those  who  are  strangers  to  me,  certainly  not  Your 
Excellency,  whose  Moccicone  I  will  remain  to  the  end. 


As  for  that  part  of  your  sweet  and  charming  letter  in 
which  you  say  that  the  prayers  I  offer  in  this  habit 
must  avail  more,  I  gladly  agree,  and  hope  that  the 
friends  who  are  nearest  to  me  may  receive  more  than 
others.  All  the  same,  it  is  devil's  work  to  ask  favours 
for  others,  even  for  those  whom  you  most  wish  to 
help  I  but  I  will  try  to  obey  Your  Highness,  and  ask 

All  Rome  rejoiced  at  the  peaceful  opening  of  the 
new  pontificate.  *'  Once  Venus  reigned,  then  Mars, 
now  Pallas  holds  her  sway,"  was  the  motto  which 
Agostino  Chigi  placed  on  the  triumphal  arch  which 
he  raised  in  honour  of  the  Pope's  coronation.  And 
while  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  clad  in  deep  mourning 
for  his  uncle,  held  the  Pope's  bridle  as  Prefect  of 
Rome  and  Captain-General  of  the  Church,  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara,  absolved  from  papal  censures,  and 
sumptuously  attired  in  white  and  gold  brocade,  was 
one  of  the  most  splendid  figures  in  the  ranks  of  the 
stately  procession  that  passed  from  St.  Peter's  to  the 
Lateran.^  No  one  rejoiced  more  sincerely  over  his 
restoration  to  the  Holy  Father's  favour  than  his  sister 
Isabella,  and,  as  she  told  her  friend,  the  new  Cardinal, 
she  only  longed  for  the  day  when  she  should  be  able 
to  come  to  Rome  herself  and  kiss  the  Pope's  feet. 

^  Luzio,  Federico,  p.  13. 

2  Gregorovius,  Rom,  viii.  l67  ;  Roscoe,  Leo  X  .  App. 



Isabella  spends  the  carnival  at  Milan — Duke  Maximilian  Sforza 
— His  weakness  and  extravagance — The  Viceroy  of  Naples 
and  Cardinal  Gurk  at  Milan — Isabella  and  her  ladies — Her 
letter  to  the  Marquis  in  self-defence — Brognina  and  Alda 
Boiarda  dismissed  from  her  service — Tebaldeo  attacks  Mario 
Equicola  and  Isabella — Indignation  of  the  Marchesa — Her 
letter  to  Cardinal  d'Este — Duchess  Elisabetta's  reply. 

While  Julius  the  Second's  life  was  slowly  drawing 
to  its  close,  and  Federico  Gonzaga  was  sharing  the 
orgies  of  Cardinals  and  monkish  buffoons  in  Rome, 
his  mother  was  spending  a  gay  carnival  at  the 
court  of  her  nephew,  Maximilian,  Duke  of  Milan. 
The  Pope  lost  no  time  in  inviting  the  young 
prince  to  take  possession  of  his  father's  duchy,  and, 
early  in  the  autumn,  Maximilian  crossed  the  Alps 
and  came  to  Lombardy.  But  his  formal  restoration 
was  deferred  until  after  the  Bishop  of  Gurk's  visit  to 
Rome.  In  November  he  paid  a  visit  to  Mantua, 
where  the  Marchesa  welcomed  him  with  the  greatest 
affection,  and  a  series  of  brilliant  fetes  were  held  in 
his  honour.  From  the  first  moment  of  their  meeting, 
Beatrice's  son  seems  to  have  become  genuinely 
attached  to  his  aunt,  and  she  on  her  part  exerted 
herself  to  rouse  the  weak  and  indolent  youth  to  a 
sense  of  his  high  position  and  great  opportunities. 
But  Maximihan's  education  had  been  sadly  neg- 
lected, and  the  poverty  and  dreariness  of  his  long 



years  of  exile  had  produced  a  bad  effect  upon  his 
character.  He  had  grown  up  eccentric  and  sus- 
picious, and  was  rarely  seen  to  smile  saving  at  the 
tricks  of  dwarfs  and  clowns,  for  whom  he  showed 
a  childish  passion.  When  he  visited  Mantua  the 
follies  of  a  certain  dwarf  belonging  to  the  Marchesa, 
and  known  by  the  name  of  Nanino,  pleased  him 
better  than  anything  else ;  and  Lorenzo  Strozzi,  who 
had  lately  arrived  from  Rome,  wrote  long  accounts 
to  Federico  of  the  freaks  and  escapades  of  this 
favourite  buffoon.  One  day  Nanino  came  to  meet 
the  Duke  in  episcopal  vestments,  with  the  most 
solemn  air  in  the  world ;  the  next  he  appeared  in  the 
robes  of  a  Venetian  patrician,  while  his  hunting 
exploits  and  hand-to-hand  fight  with  a  goat  afforded 
the  Duke  unbounded  amusement.^ 

A  month  later  Cardinal  Gurk  and  the  Viceroy  of 
Naples,  Raimondo  de  Cardona,  and  Cardinal  Schinner, 
the  leader  of  the  Swiss  forces,  all  came  to  Milan, 
and  took  part  in  the  Duke's  state  entry  on  the  20th 
of  December.^  The  Marchesa  had  promised  her 
nephew  to  honour  the  New  Year  festivities  with  her 
presence,  and  gladly  embraced  this  opportunity  of 
pleading  her  brother  Alfonso's  cause  with  the  Spanish 
and  Imperial  ministers.  One  winter  evening  in 
January,  she  entered  Milan  by  torchlight,  accompanied 
by  a  brilliant  train  of  courtiers  and  ladies.  Among 
them  were  Delia,  who  was  for  many  years  the 
object  of  the  young  Marchese  di  Pescara's  passionate 
devotion ;  Alda  Boiarda,  whose  name  is  so  often 
mentioned  in  Bembo  and  Bibbiena's  letters ;  and  the 
still  more  fascinating  Brognina,  who  had  already  won 

1  Liizio,  Buffhni,  Nuova  Antologia,  1891. 

2  Prato,  Cronaca  Arch.  St.  It.,  iii.  309. 
VOL.  II.  F 


the  hearts  of  Giirk  and  Cardona  at  M.intua  in  the 
previous  summer,  A  succession  of  banquets,  jousts, 
comedies,  and  balls  followed,  and  the  gaiety  of  these 
entertainments  was  in  no  way  diminished  by  the 
shells  that  were  discharged  at  intervals  by  the  guns 
of  the  French  garrison  which  still  held  the  Castello. 
"  Happily,  the  French  guns  had  the  courtesy  to  cease 
when  the  tilting  began  I "  wrote  Isabella  in  a  letter  to 
her  husband,  in  which  she  describes  a  tournament 
held  in  front  of  the  Corte  Vecchia,  that  old  Sforza 
palace  near  the  Duomo.  But  on  the  second  day  of 
the  jousts,  when  the  Marchese  di  Pescara  distin- 
guished himself  by  his  valour,  and  the  Duke  and 
Marchesa  were  again  present,  a  sudden  bombardment 
from  the  Castello  sent  every  one  flying  I  ^  In  another 
letter  Isabella  describes  a  sumptuous  banquet  and 
dramatic  representation  given  by  the  Brescian  Count 
Brunoro,  brother  of  Veronica  Gambara,  on  the  25th  of 
January.  The  victory  of  the  League  and  expulsion  of 
the  French  were  celebrated  in  a  series  of  tableaux  and 
musical  recitations,  and  a  stately  oak — the  emblem 
of  the  Delia  Rovere  family — with  an  eagle's  nest  in 
its  topmost  boughs,  occupied  the  centre  of  the  stage. 
But  the  play  itself  was  poor  and  very  inferior,  as 
Isabella  told  her  husband,  to  those  performed  at 
Mantua.  "  I  am  certain,"  she  wrote,  "  that  any  one 
who  has  seen  Your  Excellency's  comedies  and  fine 
stage  scenery  must  feel  more  ennui  than  pleasure  at 
the  sight  of  such  representations  as  these."  ^  On  this 
occasion  the  Cardinal  and  Viceroy  openly  competed 
for  the  fair  maid  of  honour's  favours.  Both  of  them 
endeavoured   to   kiss    Brognina   as   she   entered  the 

^  Prato,  op.  cit.,  310. 

2  D'Ancona,  Teatro  It.,  vol.  ii. 


house,  and  Monsignore  of  Gurk,  Isabella  tells  her 
husband,  so  far  forgot  his  dignity  and  office  as  to  go 
down  on  his  knees  before  her.  Another  evening, 
when  Isabella  invited  the  Duke  and  his  illustrious 
guests  to  a  masked  ball  at  her  house,  the  Cardinal 
danced  twice  with  Brognina,  and  spent  most  of  his 
time  in  amorous  discourse  with  her.  That  lady, 
however,  made  no  secret  of  her  preference  for 
the  Spanish  Viceroy,  who  soon  became  her  recog- 
nised lover  and  sent  a  rich  present  of  black  and 
crimson  velvet  in  acknowledgment  of  her  favours. 
Isabella  meanwhile  made  use  of  this  opportunity  to 
gain  the  ear  of  the  Emperor's  favourite,  and  when, 
after  supper,  the  guests  took  off  their  masks,  she 
had  a  long  talk  with  Cardinal  Gurk  on  the  subject 
of  Peschiera,  a  fortified  town  on  the  Lake  of 
Garda,  which  had  formerly  belonged  to  Mantua, 
and  which  the  Gonzagas  were  exceedingly  anxious 
to  recover.^  Little  faith,  however,  she  owns,  was 
to  be  placed  in  Monsignore's  promises ;  but  her 
efforts  on  behalf  of  her  brothers  proved  more  suc- 
cessful, and  she  was  able  to  recover  some  letters 
written  by  Cardinal  Ippolito,  betraying  his  strong 
French  sympathies,  which  had  unluckily  fallen  into 
the  hands  of  the  papal  legate.  In  these  delicate 
matters  Isabella  had  a  skilful  assistant  in  Francesco 
Chiericati,  a  clever  Vicentine  humanist,  who  was 
secretary  to  Cardinal  Schinner,  and  afterwards  rose  to 
high  favour  under  Leo  X.  and  his  successors.  Chieri- 
cati was  attached  to  the  Gonzagas,  who  had  shown 
his  family  much  kindness,  and  he  informed  the 
Marchesa  before  her  arrival  of  the  existence  of  some 
of  these  letters.    *'  After  consulting  Madonna  Ippolita 

1  Luzio,  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1901,  p.  l62. 

84      HIS   AMOURS    WITH    RROGT^INA 

Sforza,"  he  wrote  to  Isabella  on  the  29t]i  of  November, 
"  I  burnt  them  all,  feeling  sure  you  would  not  wish 
them  to  be  preserv^ed."  Isabella  never  forgot  Chieri- 
cati's  service  on  tliis  occasion,  and  always  honoured 
him  with  her  friendship  and  regard.^ 

The  Marchesa's  own  letters  from  Milan  give  many 
curious  instances  of  the  jealousy  with  which  the 
Italians  regarded  the  Spaniards,  who  were  ready  to 
draw  their  swords  at  the  least  provocation,  while 
their  greed  and  rapacity  soon  became  proverbial.  At 
one  ball  given  by  the  Duke  in  the  Corte  Vecchia, 
not  only  were  the  gold  buttons  of  his  courtiers  secretly 
cut  off,  but  Isabella  herself,  whose  gown  was  adorned 
with  her  favourite  device  of  small  gold  candelabra, 
lost  several  of  these  ornaments  in  the  course  of  the 
same  evening.^ 

Political  considerations,  as  well  as  her  nephew's 
pressing  entreaties,  induced  Isabella  to  prolong  her 
visit  until  the  beginning  of  March.  But  when  the 
news  of  the  Pope's  death  reached  her,  and  she  heard 
that  her  darling  Federico  was  about  to  return,  she 
set  out  at  once  for  Mantua.  Unfortunately,  reports 
of  the  scandal  excited  by  the  Viceroy's  amours  with 
the  Marchesa's  maid  of  honour  had  reached  her 
husband's  ears,  and  before  she  left  Milan  Isabella 
received  an  angry  letter  from  the  Marquis,  reproaching 
her  for  her  prolonged  absence,  and  telling  her  that 
the  disgraceful  conduct  of  her  ladies  had  made  her 
the  common  talk  of  the  town.  The  frank  and  noble 
letter  in  which  Isabella  replied  to  these  accusations 
has  lately  been  discovered  by  Signor  Luzio  in  the  Gon- 
zaga  archives,^  and  deserves  to  be  given  in  full : — 

*  B.  Morsolin,  F.  Chiericati,  p.  124. 
2  Luzio,  op.  ciL,  p.  l6l. 
»  Ibid.,  p.  l64. 


"  My  dear  Lord, — T  am  sorry  but  hardly  surprised 
to  hear  that  you  were  not  satisfied  witli  my  explana- 
tions*  and  I  should  be  more  so,  if  I  felt  this  to  be  my 
fault,  as  it  certainly  is  my  misfortune.  But,  since 
the  reason  why  I  did  not  obey  Your  Excellency  at 
once  was  that,  with  your  own  permission,  I  wished  to 
help  my  brother  and  please  my  nephew,  it  seems  to 
me  that  you  need  not  express  so  much  dissatisfaction, 
and  I  can  only  lament  the  unlucky  fate  which  always 
renders  my  actions  displeasing  to  you.  And  I 
certainly  do  not  believe  that  I  have  done  anything  on 
this  Milanese  journey,  for  which  I  deserve  to  become 
'  the  common  talk  of  the  town.'  I  know  that  I  have 
acquired  many  new  friends  on  your  behalf,  as  well 
as  on  my  own,  and  that  I  have  behaved  as  I  ought 
to  do,  and  as  I  am  always  accustomed  to  behave,  for, 
thanks  to  the  grace  of  my  God  and  myself,  I  never 
needed  either  to  be  controlled  by  others,  or  to  be 
reminded  how  to  govern  my  actions.  And,  although 
in  other  things  I  count  for  nothing,  God  has  granted 
me  this  grace,  for  which  Your  Excellency  owes  me 
as  much  gratitude  as  ever  any  husband  owed  his  wife, 
and  even  if  you  loved  and  honoured  me  as  much  as 
possible  you  could  never  repay  my  faithfulness.  This 
makes  you  sometimes  to  say  that  I  am  proud,  because, 
knowing  how  much  I  deserve  of  you  and  how  little  I 
receive,  I  am  tempted  at  times  to  alter  my  nature 
and  to  appear  different  from  what  I  am.  But  even 
if  you  should  always  treat  me  badly,  I  would  never 
cease  to  do  what  is  right,  and  the  less  love  you  show 
me,  the  more  I  shall  always  love  you,  because,  in 
truth,  this  love  is  part  of  myself,  and  I  became  your 
wife  so  young  that  I  can  never  remember  having 
been  witliout  it.     This  being  the  case,  I  think  that, 


without  incurring  your  displeasure,  I  might  be  at 
liberty  to  put  off  my  return  a  fortnight,  for  the 
reasons  which  I  have  already  explained.  Do  not  be 
angry  with  me,  and  say  that  you  do  not  believe  I 
wish  to  see  you,  as  I  have  said  in  my  letters,  for  if 
my  desire  in  this  respect  were  satisfied,  you  would  let 
me  see  you  much  more  often  than  I  do  in  Mantua. 
I  commend  myself  once  more  to  Your  Excellency, 
and  beg  your  pardon  for  writing  so  long  a  letter. 
From  one  who  loves  you  as  well  as  herself. — Isabella, 
Marchesa  di  Mantoa^a."  In  Piacenza,  the  12th 
day  of  March,  1513. 

This  letter  not  only  reveals  the  innate  nobleness 
and  loyalty  of  Isabella's  nature,  and  confirms  our  esti- 
mate of  her  fine  character,  but  also  throws  light  on  the 
painful  circumstances  of  her  private  Ufe  during  the 
long  and  trying  years  of  her  husband's  illness.  The 
unhappy  man,  suffering  as  he  was  from  incurable 
disease,  and  condemned  to  a  life  of  enforced  idleness, 
sank  into  a  querulous  and  fretful  invalid,  who 
quarrelled  with  his  servants  and  friends,  worried  his 
wife  incessantly  over  trifles,  and  complained  bitterly 
whenever  she  was  absent.  The  patience  with  which 
Isabella  bore  his  caprices,  the  faithfulness  with  which 
she  carried  out  his  wishes,  and  her  affectionate  solici- 
tude for  his  health  and  anxious  endeavours  to  amuse 
and  distract  him,  are  evident  from  the  almost  daily 
letters  which  she  addressed  to  him  during  her  journeys. 
On  this  occasion,  it  must  be  admitted,  the  behaviour 
of  Brognina  had  given  just  cause  for  scandal ;  and 
although  at  Milan  the  Marchesa  might  think  it  pru- 
dent to  shut  her  eyes  to  her  maid  of  honour's  flirtations 
with  personages  as  exalted  as  Raimondo  de  Cardona 
and   Cardinal   Gurk,  she  herself  felt  that  it  was  no 


longer  possible  to  keep  the  girl  in  her  service.  Ac- 
cordingly, Brognina  retired  to  a  convent  near  Goito, 
where  she  lived  as  the  recognised  mistress  of  the 
Viceroy.^  But  the  effects  of  the  Marquis  Francesco's 
displeasure  did  not  end  here.  A  few  months  later, 
he  dismissed  the  Marchesa's  favourite  maid  of  honour, 
Alda  Boiarda,  the  cousin  of  the  Ferrara  poet,  Matteo 
Boiardo,  who  had  lived  for  ten  years  in  her  service, 
and  was  as  much  beloved  by  Duchess  Elisabetta  and 
Emiha  Pia  as  by  Giuliano  dei  Medici  and  Bibbiena. 
This  time,  Isabella  was  deeply  distressed,  and  she 
interceded  in  vain  for  this  devoted  servant,  who  had 
been  her  companion  on  so  many  journeys,  and  re- 
mained her  friend  to  the  end.  But  the  Marquis 
sternly  refused  to  listen  to  her  entreaties,  declar- 
ing in  a  letter  which  he  wrote  to  Isabella  that  Alda 
had  lighted  a  flame  of  discord  in  his  household  which 
would  not  be  extinguished  in  his  lifetime,  and  saying 
that  no  person  so  universally  hated  had  ever  left  his 
court.^  The  Marchesa,  on  her  part,  did  not  forget 
her  friend,  and  wrote  sadly  to  Alda's  sister  regretting 
that  she  had  been  compelled  to  part  from  her,  and 
had  been  unable  to  do  more  for  so  dear  and  faithful  a 

The  troubles  among  Isabella's  ladies  were  followed 
by  a  violent  quarrel  between  two  of  her  favourite  men 
of  letters,  the  poet  Tebaldeo  and  Mario  Equicola,  her 
tutor.  Mario's  name,  as  we  have  seen,  was  frequently 
linked,  more  in  jest  than  earnest,  with  that  of  Isabella 
Lavagnola,  the  sister  of  the  Marchesa's  old  dancing- 
master,  and  one  of  her  most  trusted  attendants. 
Many  are  the  allusions  to  Isabella's  charms  and  to 

'  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1901. 

2  Luzio  e  Renier,  Gium.  St,  d.  Lett.  It.,  19OO, 


Mario's  supposed  devotion  for  her  in  Bi])biena's  letters, 
and  tlie  Cardinal  himself  often  declared  that  he  be- 
longed to  the  number  of  her  most  ardent  admirers. 
But  her  conduct  and  character  seem  to  have  been  as 
blameless  as  the  Marchesa's  own,  and  even  Francesco 
Gonzaga  w^as  furious  when,  on  All  Saints'  Day,  1513, 
a  copy  of  scurrilous  verses  directed  against  Equicola 
and  Isabella  was  found  nailed  up  on  the  walls  in 
different  parts  of  Mantua.  A  strict  inquiry  was  at 
once  instituted,  and  the  deed  was  traced  back  to 
Isabella's  treasurer,  Giulio  Oldoino,  who  confessed 
that  the  verses  had  been  composed  and  sent  to  him 
by  Tebaldeo.  The  poet  had  left  Mantua  some  time 
ago,  and  was  already  suspected  of  being  the  author  of 
a  similar  lampoon  which  had  appeared  in  Rome. 
Oldoino  excused  himself  for  his  share  in  this  unworthy 
act  by  saying  that  Mario  was  his  enemy,  and  had 
slandered  him,  and  that  he  did  not  think  the  verses 
could  do  the  Marchesa  or  Isabella  any  real  injury. 
He  was  promptly  dismissed  for  his  pains,  and  that 
although  he  had  spent  sixteen  years  in  the  Marchesa's 
service,  while  Francesco  Gonzaga  addressed  a  furious 
reprimand  to  the  poet  Tebaldeo,  reproaching  him  with 
the  vilest  ingratitude  and  threatening  terrible  ven- 
geance. Isabella,  on  her  part,  wrote  long  letters  to 
Rome  and  Urbino,  giving  full  accounts  of  the  transac- 
tion, and  begging  all  her  friends  to  withdraw  their 
favour  from  the  poet  who  had  stooped  to  such  baseness. 
The  letter  which  she  addressed  to  her  brother. 
Cardinal  d'Este,  who  had  returned  to  Rome,  and 
stood  high  in  the  new  Pope's  favour,  is  very  charac- 
teristic of  her  impetuous  and  affectionate  nature, 
and  shows  how  keenly  she  resented  this  insult  to 
her  innocent  servant : — 


*'  Most  Reverend  and  dear  Brother, — I  believe 
Your  Reverend  Highness  heard  that  some  time  ago 
a  letter  written  by  my  tutor,  Equicola,  was  surrep- 
titiously stolen  and  printed  with  some  additional  lines 
scoffing  at  Mario  and  my  attendant,  Isabella.  I  am 
sure  that  you  and  every  gentle  lord  and  lady  will  have 
severely  blamed  the  vn-iter  of  these  verses,  which,  I 
confess,  excited  my  serious  displeasure,  not  on  account 
of  Mario,  who  is  well  able  to  defend  himself,  but 
because  I  objected  that  a  member  of  my  household 
should  be  spoken  of  with  so  little  respect.  I  was  still 
more  amazed  to  see  that  I  was  accused  by  the  writer 
of  having  pronounced  Mario's  writings  superior  to 
those  of  any  living  scholar.  But  since  I  could  not 
discover  the  author  of  this  calumny,  in  spite  of  cer- 
tain suspicions  which  crossed  my  mind  from  the  first, 
I  resolved  to  bide  my  time,  feeling  certain  that  time 
would  reveal  the  name  of  the  guilty  man,  and  that  he 
would  soon  be  found  out  and  punished,  as  has  indeed 
happened,  because  on  the  Feast  of  All  Saints,  certain 
sonnets,  containing  still  more  abusive  slanders  of 
Mario  and  Isabella,  were  found  fastened  up  on  the 
wall  in  many  places  of  the  town.  One  of  these  libels 
I  now  enclose  for  Your  Reverence  to  see.  After  this, 
I  could  no  longer  submit  to  such  indignity,  and  made 
a  strict  inquiry,  from  which  I  discovered  that  the 
verses  had  been  sent  from  Bologna  by  that  fine  gen- 
tleman Tebaldeo  to  my  treasurer,  Giulio  Oldoino, 
who  could  not  deny  the  charge,  and  confessed  that  he 
had  ordered  them  to  be  put  up  in  public  places,  and 
excused  himself  by  saying  that  Mario  was  his  enemy, 
and  that  he  did  not  think  the  mention  of  Isabella 
would  hurt  either  her  or  me.     I  gave  Giulio  no  other 


punishment  than  that  of  instant  dismissal  from  my 
service,  where  he  has  hved  lionourably  for  the  last 
sixteen  years,  although  he  really  deserved  to  be 
treated  with  greater  severity,  since  Isabella  had  never 
done  him  any  wrong,  and  he  must  have  known  how 
much  the  verses  would  displease  me.  As  for  Tebaldeo, 
all  I  desire  is  that  you  and  all  these  lords  and  ladies 
should  know  how  ungratefully  he  has  behaved  to  my 
lord  and  myself,  after  being  entertained  and  rewarded 
by  us  during  many  years  past,  and  that  without  hold- 
ing any  office  at  this  court  or  doing  us  any  service. 
If  Tebaldeo  himself  left  your  service  because  he  was 
so  much  affi-onted  at  seeing  one  of  his  boys  in  your 
house  punished,  what,  must  he  think,  are  my  feelings 
at  seeing  one  of  my  most  faithful  maidens  publicly 
held  up  to  ridicule  by  him  ?  Truly,  his  has  been  a 
fine  and  noble  invention,  worthy  of  eternal  fame  1  II 
Mario's  commentary  on  his  works  excited  his  envy, 
he  might  have  chosen  some  better  way  of  answering 
and  confuting  him  than  by  slandering  the  honour  of  a 
maiden,  out  of  hatred  for  one  who  looks  on  love  rather 
as  a  theme  for  verse  than  a  personal  emotion,  as  I  know 
Your  Highness  and  all  the  world  are  aware.  ...  I 
beg  you  to  communicate  this  fine  trick  of  Tebaldeo's 
invention  to  the  Cardinals  of  Aragon  [her  uncle],  of 
S.  Maria  in  Portico  [Bibbiena],  and  the  Magnifico 
Giuliano,  who  will  be  no  less  wroth  than  I  am  for 
the  sake  of  his  dear  Margherita,  who  is  Isabella's 
sister.  And  because  Giulio,  in  his  examination,  con- 
fessed that  other  scurrilous  verses  of  the  same  kind 
were  about  to  be  published,  I  beg  Your  Highness  to 
inform  Tebaldeo  that,  if  he  does  not  abstain  from  such 
actions,  he  will  soon  feel  the  result  of  offending  a 

AND   THE   DUCHESS    OF   URBINO     91 

sister  of  Your  Excellency  and  of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara, 
as  well  as  the  wife  of  the  Marquis  of  Mantua."  ^ 
Nov.  4,  1513. 

Cardinal  d'Este,  who  was  one  of  Tebaldeo's  chief 
patrons,  does  not  seem  to  have  taken  the  matter  very 
seriously,  and  the  poet's  indiscretion  did  not  prevent 
him  from  enjoying  the  favour  of  Pope  Leo  X.  and 
the  friendship  of  Raphael  and  Castiglione,  of  Bembo 
and  Bibbiena  during  many  years  to  come.  There 
were  others  besides  Tebaldeo  who  looked  on  Mario 
as  a  tiresome  pedant,  and  the  poet's  sally  probably 
provoked  more  laughter  than  wrath  among  the  Mar- 
chesa's  friends  in  Rome.  Even  the  gentle  Duchess 
Elisabetta  seems  to  have  considered  Isabella's  anger 
somewhat  excessive,  and  used  her  gentle  influence  to 
soothe  her  sister-in-law's  excited  feelings.  After  con- 
doling with  the  Marchesa  on  her  natural  annoyance, 
and  saying  that  no  blame  could  possibly  attach  to 
Mario  or  to  Isabella,  of  whom  she  was  particularly 
fond,  she  went  on :  "I  feel  aU  your  sorrows,  you 
know,  as  if  they  were  my  own,  but  really,  in  this 
case,  the  chief  cause  for  regret  seems  to  be  the  loss  of 
so  old  and  trusted  a  servant  as  Giulio.  Mario's 
talents  are  too  well  known  for  envy  to  do  him  any 
harm,  while  Isabella's  goodness  is  manifest  to  all,  and 
this  attack  cannot  sully  her  innocence.  But  who  is 
there  among  us  whose  conduct  is  so  perfect  as  to 
close  the  mouth  of  slanderers  ?  Their  usual  habit,  I 
have  often  noticed,  is  to  attack  those  who  are  the 
most  praiseworthy  and  estimable.  So  I  beg  Your 
Excellency  to  trouble  yourself  no  more  on  the  sub- 
ject, but  to  allow  the  wrong  to  recoil  on  the  heads  of 

1  V.  Cian  in  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.  It.,  viii. 


those  who  invent  these  slanders,  and  who,  in  my 
judgment,  are  sufficiently  punished  hy  seein/r  how 
hateful  they  become  in  the  eyes  of  all  virtuous  and 
honest  persons.  I  will  only  thank  you  once  more  for 
your  loving  words  to  me  on  this  matter."  ^ 

»  V.  Cian  in  Giom.  St.  d.  iMt.  It.,  viii. 



Invasion  of  Lombardy  by  the  French — Their  defeat  by  the  Swiss 
at  Novara — Isabella's  journey  to  Milan  stopped  by  the  illness 
of  the  Marquis — Papal  intrigues  against  Ferrara — Visit  of 
Raimondo  de  Cardona  to  Mantua — Journey  of  Isabella  to  the 
Lago  di  Garda — Her  letters  from  Lonato,  Sermione,  and 
Sal6 — Trissino  presents  his  "  Ritratti "  to  her — Portrait  of  the 
Marchesa  introduced — Visit  of  Isabella  to  Milan  and  Pavia. 

The  insecure  nature  of  the  young  Duke  of  Milan's 
throne  was  soon  shown.  Hardly  were  the  festivities 
in  honour  of  his  accession  ended  than  Milan  was 
attacked  by  a  French  army  under  La  Tr^mouille 
and  Trivulzio,  and  only  saved  by  the  timely  arrival  of 
a  Swiss  force,  which  defeated  the  invaders  with  great 
loss  at  Novara.  The  French  beat  a  hurried  retreat 
across  the  Alps,  the  Castello  surrendered,  and  Maxi- 
milian Sforza  was  once  more  restored  to  power.  But 
his  weakness  and  incapacity,  as  well  as  the  heavy  taxes 
which  he  extorted  from  his  unfortunate  subjects,  in 
order  to  pay  the  annual  tribute  demanded  by  his 
Swiss  supporters,  and  gratify  his  own  extravagant 
tastes,  rendered  his  rule  more  and  more  unpopular. 
He  began  to  look  with  unfounded  suspicion  on  his 
younger  brother  Francesco,  Duke  of  Bari,  whose 
popularity  with  the  Milanese  had  from  the  first 
excited  his  jealousy,  and  took  every  opportunity  of 
keeping  him  away  from  court. ^     In  spite,  however, 

1  Prato,  op.  cit. 


of  all  his  faults  and  follies,  Isabella  seems  to  have 
been  genuinely  fond  of  her  nephew,  and  at  his  earnest 
request  she  consented  to  pay  him  another  short  visit 
that  autumn,  and  set  out  on  her  journey  to  Milan  in 
September.  Her  first  halt  was  at  Gazzuolo,  where 
her  cousins,  Madonna  Antonia's  beautiful  daughters, 
Susanna  and  Camilla,  came  out  to  meet  her,  and 
conducted  her  with  every  demonstration  of  respect 
and  affection  to  the  Rocca.  Here  she  spent  the 
evening  very  pleasantly,  and  Madonna  Camilla  first 
sang  alone,  accompanying  herself  on  the  viol  "  with 
infinite  grace,"  and  afterwards  she  and  her  sister  both 
joined  in  duets.  But  when  the  Marchesa  reached 
Casalmaggiore,  she  received  such  bad  accounts  of  her 
husband's  health  that  she  altered  her  plans  and  re- 
turned to  Mantua.^  All  through  the  winter  Fran- 
cesco Gonzaga  was  seriously  ill,  while  his  subjects 
suffered  severely  from  the  presence  of  the  German 
and  Venetian  troops  who  overran  his  territory  in 
search  of  shelter  and  provisions.  The  news  from 
Rome  also  caused  Isabella  some  uneasiness.  The 
Pope  was  known  to  entertain  ambitious  schemes  for 
the  advancement  of  his  family.  Already,  his  nephew 
Lorenzo— the  son  of  Piero  dei  Medici — was  practi- 
cally despot  of  I'lorence,  and  King  Ferdinand,  it  was 
openly  said,  had  suggested  that  Giuliano  should  re- 
ceive the  investiture  of  Ferrara.  A  visit  which  the 
Viceroy  of  Naples  and  his  Spanish  suite  paid  to 
Mantua  that  Carnival,  had  not  removed  the  Marchesa's 
anxiety,  and  whether  this  was  owing  to  the  affair  of 
Brognina  or  to  political  causes,  Cardona  had  been 
unusually  silent  and  taciturn.  At  the  same  time, 
the  continued  presence  of  the  Spaniards  in  Lombardy 

^  A.  Pedrazzoli  in  Arch.  St.  Lotiib.,  1890. 


aroused  the  fears  of  the  Marquis,  who,  instead  of 
adding  Peschiera  to  his  dominions,  was  in  constant 
dread  of  losing  his  own  possessions  on  the  Riviera  of 
Garda.  Under  these  circumstances,  Isabella  decided 
to  take  advantage  of  the  first  spring  days  to  visit  her 
husband's  subjects  in  these  regions,  and  left  IMantua 
with  a  train  of  ninety -three  persons  and  eighty  horses 
on  the  15th  of  March.  The  letters  which  she  wrote 
to  the  Marquis  during  this  fortnight's  absence  give  a 
charming  picture  of  her  journey  along  the  beautiful 
lake,  and  show  us  that,  at  the  age  of  forty,  Isabella's 
delight  in  natural  beauty  was  as  fresh  and  spontaneous, 
and  her  enjoyment  of  all  the  little  incidents  of  travel  as 
keen  as  when  she  was  a  bride  of  sixteen. 

From  Goito  she  wrote,  on  the  evening  of  her 
arrival,  saying  how  she  had  been  received  by  the 
Castellan  of  the  Rocca,  and  after  visiting  his  new- 
born child,  had  enjoyed  a  walk  in  the  green  meadows 
on  the  banks  of  the  Mincio.  The  next  day  she  dined 
at  the  villa  of  Cavriana,  one  of  her  favourite  summer 
residences,  and  went  on  the  same  afternoon  to  Lonato, 
from  which  her  next  letter  was  written,  on  the  17th 
of  March. 

*'  I  arrived  here  about  six  o'clock,  having  driven 
over  from  Cavriana  in  a  chariot,  and  felt  broken  to 
pieces  by  jolting  over  the  stones  I  But  after  a  good 
night's  rest,  I  have  recovered,  and  am  quite  well  this 
morning.  A  troop  of  horse  rode  out  to  meet  me  at 
Solferino,  and  further  on  I  found  one  hundred  foot 
soldiers  and  a  number  of  children,  with  olive  branches 
and  banners  bearing  our  arms,  shouting  your  name 
and  mine.  The  city  gates  were  hung  with  evergreens 
and  banners,  and  at  the  Town  House,  where  I  am 
staying,  I  found  many  ladies  waiting  to  receive  me. 


The  chief  citizens  came  this  morning  to  pay  me  their 
respects,  and  express  their  regret  that,  owing  to  the 
time  of  year,  tliey  were  unable  to  receive  me  with 
greater  festivities.  They  defrayed  all  my  expenses  in 
the  most  liberal  manner,  and  are  good  Gonzageschi 
who  will  never  fail  you.  You  can  see  into  their 
hearts  I  I  tell  Your  Excellency  this,  to  confirm  you 
in  your  good  opinion  of  these  loyal  subjects.  This 
morning  I  went  to  the  Church  of  the  Annunciation, 
which  belongs  to  the  Brothers  Minor,  and  is  a  quiet 
and  pleasant  spot.  After  dinner  I  visited  the  Rocca, 
which  I  will  not  describe,  as  I  know  you  have  been 
there,  but  must  tell  you  that  I  never  saw  a  finer 
situation,  and  I  made  them  tell  me  the  names  of  all 
the  countless  towns  which  you  can  see  from  the  top 
of  the  hill,  to  my  great  amusement  I  If  you  decide  to 
build  a  villa  there,  you  will  be  quite  right,  for  it  is  the 
most  delightful  place  in  the  world !  All  my  com- 
panions say  the  air  is  perfect,  and  Capilupi  especially 
says  that  his  head  and  eyes  and  ears,  which  have  lately 
given  him  so  much  pain,  feel  better  than  they  have 
done  for  long.  From  the  Rocca  I  went  by  the  gate 
of  Cittadella,  to  the  Church  of  S.  Zeno,  past  the 
saw-mills,  and  enjoyed  the  sight  of  the  clear  stream 
and  the  vineyards  and  fields,  which  are  so  well 
cultivated  that  they  seem  to  be  all  gardens.  I  came 
back  into  the  town  feeling  the  greatest  satisfaction,  and 
am  sure,  my  dear  Lord,  if  you  could  come  and  spend 
some  days  in  this  pure  air,  it  would  do  you  all  the 
good  in  the  world.  To-morrow  I  dine  at  Maguzano 
with  the  venerable  Fathers,  and  on  Sunday  hope  to 
sup  at  Sermione.  I  am  glad  my  letter  pleased  you, 
and  am  still  more  delighted  to  hear  your  new  pills 
suit  you.     Pray  let  me  know  how  they  answer,  and 


God  grant  they  may  do  you  lasting  good  I  I  thank 
Your  Excellency  with  all  my  heart  for  the  good  news 
you  give  me  regarding  the  safety  of  my  brother  the 
Duke,  because  I  still  felt  alarmed  at  the  Viceroy's 
taciturn  manner.  Now  for  a  real  miracle,  without 
which  I  cannot  end  this  letter !  Yesterday,  when 
the  salute  was  fired  in  honour  of  our  entry,  a  ball  of 
lead  passed  right  through  the  cloak,  vest,  and  shirt 
of  Zanino  Mereschalchi,  mthout  touching  or  hurting 
his  arm  or  any  part  of  his  body.  I  think  this  is  a 
good  augury,  and  shows  that  you  will  keep  this  city 
which  you  value  so  much."  ^ 

The  next  two  letters  were  written  from  Sermione, 
the  classic  promontory  sung  by  Catullus  in  Roman 
days.  Isabella  was  enchanted,  as  might  be  expected, 
with  the  beauty  of  the  spot,  and  with  the  wide  view 
over  the  blue  lake  and  mountains  from  the  ancient 
citadel  built  by  the  Scaligeri  princes  in  the  fourteenth 

"  Yesterday,"  she  wrote  on  the  19th,  "  I  went 
to  Maguzano,  and  dined  in  that  charming  place, 
where  the  good  Fathers  entertained  me  very  kindly, 
and  I  saw  many  fine  mountains  on  the  way  back. 
To-day  I  came  to  Sermione,  where  these  poor  people 
received  me  joyfully,  and  Girolamo  Archano  took 
me  over  the  Rocca  and  showed  me  the  plan  of  the 
new  lodgings  which  you  think  of  building,  and  which 
will  be  very  fine.  Since  you  ask  for  my  advice,  I 
told  Girolamo — merely  to  obey  your  wishes,  since 
really  nothing  is  wanting — to  make  another  room  in 
the  tower,  as  he  will  tell  you.  I  am  sure  you  are 
right  to  build  a  dwelling-house  here,  for  this  place 
is  simply  the  most  beautiful  in  the  world.     I  went 

^  A.  Pedrazzoli,  op.  cit. 

VOL.  II.  a 

98  THE   ROCCA 

round  the  promontory  in  a  boat,  and  see  that  the 
house  will  look  very  well  from  the  lake,  and  mean 
to  climb  the  hill  to-morrow  to  consider  the  subject 
more  closely.  If  I  ever  longed  to  see  Your  Excel- 
lency restored  to  health,  I  do  so  now,  in  order  that 
you  might  be  able  to  enjoy  these  dehcious  scenes. 
But  your  letter  of  to-day  troubles  me  sadly,  and 
makes  me  fear  that  the  pills  have  not  done  you  as 
much  good  as  you  had  hoped.  But  you  must  not 
be  disappointed  at  this,  because  medicine  does  not 
act  upon  us  as  quickly  as  we  expect ;  and  now  the 
fine  weather  is  coming,  I  feel  sure  that,  with  careful 
diet,  your  health  will  soon  improve.  God  grant  this  1 
I  will  not  hide  from  you  that  I  have  taken  bodily 
possession  of  this  place.  For  in  descending  the  steps 
of  the  Rocca,  which  were  wet  after  a  little  shower 
of  rain,  my  foot  slipped  and  I  fell  three  steps,  without 
hurting  myself  in  the  least,  and  only  laughed  at  the 
flowery  speeches  of  the  Vicar,  who  said  that  perhaps 
my  fall  was  caused  by  my  excessive  admiration  for  the 
beauty  of  the  view  I  Certainly  the  situation  of  the 
Rocca  is  splendid,  but  the  rooms  are  so  dark  and 
small  that  I  am  obliged  to  lodge  in  the  priest's  house, 
where  there  is  only  one  room  in  which  I  have  to 
eat  and  sleep  ;  so  you  must  make  haste  and  build 
some  fine  lodgings.  One  of  my  maidens  has  also 
taken  possession  of  Lonato  I  for  the  mule  which 
Livia  rode  on  the  way  from  Maguzano  ran  away 
and  she  fell  off,  one  foot  remaining  in  the  stirrup 
and  the  other  in  the  air,  so  that  she  made  a  most 
ridiculous  figure,  and  if  the  others  had  not  come 
to  her  help  quickly,  she  would  have  broken  her 
neck.  Thank  God,  she  was  not  hurt  1  TraveUing 
would  be  very  dull  if  such  absurd  accidents  did  not 


sometimes  happen  I  My  headache  and  sore  throat 
are  nearly  gone.  I  hope  to  enjoy  this  lovely  spot 
to-morrow,  and  Your  Excellency  may  be  sm-e  that  I 
shall  be  happy,  and  I  thank  you  again  for  allowing 
me  to  come  here,  and  for  sending  me  good  accounts 
of  Federico  and  the  other  children." 

"To  resume  my  tale,"  the  Marchesa  continued 
two  days  later:  "Yesterday  I  climbed  the  hill  to 
see  the  Roman  ruins,  and  entered  the  grottoes  to 
examine  them  thoroughly.  They  are  truly  marvel- 
lous, especially  to  some  one  hke  myself  who  has  not 
seen  Rome,  and  I  do  not  wonder  that  the  Romans 
loved  this  place  and  chose  it  for  their  pleasure-houses, 
because  it  is  most  beautiful  and  worthy  of  noble 
villas.  If  God  gives  Your  Excellency  health,  and 
we  are  able  to  come  back  together  and  enjoy  these 
places  in  peace,  we  ought  to  build  a  Casino,  not 
for  the  fame  of  the  State,  but  for  pleasure  and  de- 
lightful conversation.  I  spent  all  day  on  foot  or 
horseback,  contemplating  the  ruins  or  the  view. 
To-day  I  have  been  to  Peschiera,  stopping  to  visit 
the  sanctuary  of  the  Madonna  of  the  Ash-trees,  who 
is  said  to  work  so  many  miracles.  I  saw  many 
images  and  ex  votos,  and  the  beginnings  of  a  fine 
church,  in  which  I  prayed  earnestly  for  Your  Ex- 
cellency's health.  Afterwards  I  rode  through  the 
town  and  found  the  Castellan,  a  Spanish  captain, 
who  courteously  took  me  into  the  Rocca,  where, 
seeing  that  he  had  only  twelve  or  fifteen  men  of 
small  stature,  I  and  my  ladies  could  easily  have 
taken  him  and  his  troops  prisoners,  and  made  myself 
mistress  of  the  place,  without  much  blasphemy  on 
the  part  of  the  King  of  France  or  the  Emperor, 
since  the  Spaniards  hold  it  unjustly  I    The  situation 

100  THE   RIVIERA   DI    SALO 

of  Lonato,  I  repeat,  is  fine,  that  of  Sermione  is  finer, 
but  that  of  Peschiera  is  the  finest  of  all.  And  so 
we  must  do  our  utmost  to  recover  the  place.  I 
confess  that  I  returned  to  Sermione  in  a  fit  of  bad 
temper,  which  is  not  yet  over,  thinking  of  the  great 
wrong  which  has  been  done  us,  and  seeing  how 
useless  the  place  is  to  the  Catholic  king,  and  how 
pleasant  and  useful  it  would  be  to  us.  But  I  will 
say  no  more  about  this  now.  To-morrow  I  shall 
visit  the  island  of  the  Friars  Minor,  and  go  on  to 
sleep  at  Sal5.  That  Spanish  Governor  told  me  that 
I  could  easily  find  rooms  there,  and  courteously 
invited  me  to  visit  the  place.  Afterwards,  I  shall 
return  along  this  shore,  while  the  weather  is  fine, 
although  it  is  too  early  to  find  anjrthing  to  enjoy 
here,  excepting  the  pure  air.  I  would  have  sent 
you  some  fish,  but  know  you  do  not  eat  it,  nor  any 
fruit,  and  indeed  very  little  fish  has  been  caught, 
and  since  I  have  been  here  I  have  not  seen  a  single 
sardine.  They  say  that  the  air  is  too  clear  and  the 
winds  are  in  the  wrong  quarter." 

The  next  day  Isabella  rowed  across  to  the  little 
island  and  saw  the  ancient  church,  built  by  St. 
Francis  on  the  ruins  of  a  temple  of  Jupiter,  and 
crossed  over  to  the  picturesque  Riviera,  where  the 
tall  church  and  roofs  of  Salo  nestle  among  orange 
and  lemon  groves,  at  the  foot  of  Monte  Pennino. 
On  the  23rd,  she  gave  the  Marquis  her  usual  account 
of  her  doings : — 

"Yesterday,  as  I  told  you,  I  went  to  the  Isola 
dei  Frati.  The  place  and  situation  are  both  fine, 
but  badly  supplied  with  fruit  and  delicacies — how 
could  it  be  otherwise?  The  Friars  welcomed  me 
warmly,  and   the   captain    of    Salo,    Guglielmo    di 


Castiglio,  a  cliamberlain  and  creature  of  the  Viceroy, 
came  there  to  meet  me  with  many  followers  and 
boats,  and  made  me  very  courteous  offers  of  service. 
I  took  him  and  another  Spanish  officer  in  my  boat, 
and  his  own  followed,  with  more  than  twenty-five 
others,  all  heavily  laden.  There  was  much  beating 
of  drums,  and  blowing  of  trumpets,  and  prolonged 
shouts  of  Turco !  Gonzaga !  Isabella !  They  es- 
corted me  to  Sal6,  and  I  rowed  along  under  the 
shore  to  see  the  view,  which  is  most  beautiful.  I 
landed  at  the  Town-house,  where  the  captain  and 
a  great  crowd  of  people  had  already  assembled,  so 
much  so,  indeed,  that  I  felt  quite  bewildered.  All 
the  citizens  welcomed  me  with  acclamation,  and  both 
in  the  hall  of  the  Town-house  and  under  a  loggia  on 
the  shore  of  the  lake  were  tables  laden  with  baskets 
of  apples,  pears,  fresh  grapes,  boxes  of  sweetmeats, 
marzipane,  wax,  confetti^  and  dishes  of  every  kind 
of  fish,  in  large  quantities.  The  chief  citizens  made 
me  long  and  fine  speeches,  and  I  repUed  with  many 
compliments  on  behalf  of  Your  Excellency,  in  whose 
name  these  honours  were  paid  me,  and  perhaps  some 
day  we  may  find  it  useful  to  have  them  for  our 
friends.  After  I  reached  my  rooms,  the  captain, 
who  had  taken  leave  of  me  at  the  door,  sent  me  a 
fine  present  of  fish,  apples,  and  fresh  grapes.  I  did 
not  remember  him,  but  he  says  that  he  came  to 
Mantua  with  the  Viceroy,  and  again  with  Celindo 
(the  Viceroy's  chamberlain)  to  arrange  Brognina's 
affair,  and  he  was  very  courteous  and  pleasant.  To- 
day I  am  staying  here  to  see  the  place,  and  visit 
the  convents  of  friars  and  sisters.  To-morrow  I 
shall  drive  to  Grignano  to  see  Tusculano  and  the 
other  gardens,  and   if  it   is    fine  return   by  water. 


Saturday  being  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation,  I 
shall  attend  divine  service  with  these  sisters.  On 
Sunday  I  mean  to  row  across  the  lake  and  sleep 
at  Laciso,  to  see  the  other  shore,  and  on  Monday  I 
shall  go  to  Peschiera,  and  so  return  to  Mantua.  I 
will  say  no  more,  only  that  each  time  I  see  another 
lovely  spot,  I  wish  most  earnestly  that  you  may  be 
restored  to  health  and  come  here  with  me. 

"  P.S. — I  have  found  nothing  on  this  Riviera 
likely  to  please  you,  excepting  some  young  kids,  of 
which  I  send  you  four,  hoping  you  will  enjoy  them 
for  my  sake.  We  shall  eat  the  fish,  as  so  few  have 
been  caught.  The  men  of  Sermione  will  take  the 
kids  alive  to  Mantua." 

It  was  at  Sal5,  on  this  sunny  Lady-day,  that 
Isabella  received  the  gift  of  Giangiorgio  Trissino's 
new  volume  of  Ritratti,  or  Portraits  of  the  Ladies  of 
Italy,  in  which  he  pays  her  a  splendid  tribute.^  This 
learned  Vicenza  poet,  the  intimate  friend  of  Bembo, 
and  the  foremost  humanist  of  the  day,  first  met  the 
Marchesa  at  Milan  in  1507,  and  received  much  kind- 
ness from  her  when  he  was  driven  from  his  native 
city  by  the  cruel  wars  that  ravaged  Venetia. 

During  these  long  years  of  exile,  he  often  sought 
shelter  at  Mantua,  and  Isabella  recommended  him 
alike  to  Cardinal  Gurk  and  to  her  brother  and  friends 
in  Rome.  Trissino  was  deeply  attached  to  Margherita 
Pia,  the  sister  of  Emilia  Pia  and  of  Alda,  the  mother 
of  Veronica  Gambara,  and  after  the  death  of  her  first 
husband,  Antonio  di  Sanseverino,  wooed  this  charm- 
ing lady  during  many  years.  But  although  she  was 
sincerely  attached  to  Trissino,  and  called  herself  a 
Margherita  infelicissima  in  his  absence,  she  refused  to 

^  B,  Morsolin,  V^ita  di  G.  G.  Trissino. 


marry  again,  and  ended  her  days  in  a  convent  at 
Carpi.  The  poet  had  another  patron  in  Isabella's 
devoted  friend,  Margherita  Cantelma,  the  widowed 
Duchess  of  Sora,  who  had  accompanied  her  on  this 
occasion  to  Garda.  As  they  travelled  along  the 
shores  of  the  fair  lake,  Margherita  told  the  Marchesa 
of  the  new  book  which  the  Vicentine  poet  had  com- 
posed— a  symposium  in  the  style  of  Castiglione's 
Cortigiano  on  the  fair  women  of  ancient  and  modern 
times.  The  scene  is  laid  in  the  Cantelma  Palace  at 
Ferrara,  and  one  of  the  speakers,  Vincenzo  Magr^, 
after  enumerating  the  beauties  of  Milan  and  Ferrara, 
Florence  and  Vicenza,  paints  a  glowing  picture  of  an 
unknown  lady  whom  he  saw  descend  from  her  chariot 
in  the  streets  of  Milan  and  go  into  the  Duomo  with 
a  prayer-book  open  in  her  hand.  "  Neither  Man- 
tegna,  nor  Vinci,  nor  yet  Apelles  could  ever  do  her 
justice.  Petrarch  has  best  described  her  in  his  lines : 
Una  Donna  piii  bella  assai  che'l  sole.  So  she  dawned 
upon  my  eyes,  a  lady  more  radiant  than  the  sun,  with 
golden  hair  falling  on  her  shoulders,  loosely  caught  up 
in  a  tan-coloured  silk  net,  with  knots  of  fine  gold, 
through  which  her  locks  shone  like  bright  rays  of 
light ;  a  sparkling  ruby  and  large  pearl  glittered  on 
her  forehead,  a  rope  of  pearls  hung  from  her  neck  to 
her  waist,  her  black  velvet  robe  was  embroidered  in 
gold — in  short,  everything  she  wore  was  the  work  of 
the  finest  craftsmen."  Here  the  second  speaker,  who 
is  no  less  a  personage  than  Pietro  Bembo,  the  prince 
of  humanists,  breaks  in  :  "  Say  no  more  !  I  know  the 
lady  of  whom  you  speak — Madonna,  the  Marchesa  of 
Mantova,  who  is  honoured  and  loved  by  the  whole 
world.  But  you  have  only  seen  her  once,  while  I 
have  often   spoken   with   her,  and   can  tell   of  her 


sweetness  and  goodness,  and  virtues,  which  are  far 
beyond  tlie  adorning  of  gold  and  jewels.  I  have 
heard  her  voice,  which,  in  the  words  of  Petrarch,  is  a 
thing  chiara,  soave,  angelica,  e  divina.  It  would  have 
charmed  Orpheus  and  Amphion  themselves  by  its 
entrancing  sweetness.  .  .  .  And  if  you  had  once  heard 
her  sing  to  the  lute  you  would,  like  the  Sirens,  forget 
home  and  country  to  follow  its  enchanted  melody. 
.  .  .  Truly,  God  has  given  her  all  the  gifts  of  all  the 
Muses,  all  the  treasures  of  Castaly  and  Parnassus ; 
but,  above  all,  she  loves  poetry,  as  is  meet  for  a  prin- 
cess who  reigns  over  the  land  of  Virgil."  After  this, 
he  goes  on  to  praise  the  beauty  of  her  home,  its  fair 
and  stately  fabric  adorned  with  superb  hangings,  the 
charming  little  rooms  full  of  rare  books  and  beautiful 
pictures,  of  antique  and  modern  sculpture,  of  cameos, 
medals,  and  gems,  and  ends  by  declaring  her  worthy 
to  rank  with  the  wisest  women  of  ancient  Hellas, 
with  Nausicaa  and  Sappho  and  Corinna,  with  Penelope 
and  Alcestis.^ 

Isabella's  curiosity  was  naturally  much  excited 
when  she  heard  from  her  friend's  Hps  of  Trissino's 
work,  and  Margherita  wrote  to  desire  the  poet  to  send 
it  to  her  without  delay.  So  the  precious  manuscript, 
richly  bound  and  accompanied  by  a  letter  and  dedi- 
catory epistle  in  verse,  reached  the  Marchesa  at  Salo 
on  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation,  and  she  ac- 
knowledged the  gift  in  a  grateful  letter  written  on 
the  same  day  : — 

"  Magnifico  Amico, — Your  letter,  verses,  and  Uttle 
book  could  not  have  found  us  in  a  fairer  and  more 
appropriate  spot  than  this  Riviera  di  Garda,  where  we 
now  are,  able  to  give  ourselves  wholly  to  poetry  and 

*  G.  Trissino,  Ritratti. 

ON   LADY-DAY  105 

meditation.  We  accept  them  gladly,  both  as  your 
composition,  and,  in  our  opinion,  most  elegant  and 
ingenious,  although  indeed  your  praises  of  us  far 
exceed  the  truth.  But,  as  the  common  proverb  says, 
'  If  you  do  not  speak  the  truth,  none  the  less  your 
words  please  me,'  and  we  shall  count  them  dear  as 
coming  from  so  learned  and  noble  a  writer,  and  will 
not  pubUsh  the  secret  of  their  authorship  to  others, 
since  this  is  your  wish,  as  it  is  also  our  own.  We 
should  like  you  to  alter  some  particulars  in  the  de- 
scription of  our  person,  which  we  will  point  out  when 
we  meet.  We  wish  that  you  could  have  brought 
the  book  to  us  yourself,  because  we  are  exceedingly 
anxious  to  see  you  and  enjoy  your  company  before 
you  go  to  Rome,  but  the  coming  of  the  Spaniards  to 
Mantua  for  the  Carnival,  and  our  journey  to  this  lake, 
prevented  us  from  sending  you  an  invitation,  while 
preparations  for  your  visit  to  Rome  hindered  you 
from  coming  to  see  us.  But  another  time  we  will 
take  care  that  your  pleasure  shall  be  ours,  and  your 
convenience  agreeable  to  us.  We  wish  you  a  good 
journey,  and  if  we  can  in  any  way  obhge  you,  do  not 
scruple  to  ask  our  good  offices,  which  will  be  always 
at  your  disposal.  We  do  not  now  send  you  anything 
in  return  for  your  beautiful  book,  having  nothing 
worthy  of  you,  but  Your  Magnificence  knows  that 
the  heart  feels  more  than  the  tongue  can  speak,  and 
later  on  we  shall  hope  to  thank  you  in  person.  Mean- 
while, you  will  hear  of  us  more  fully  from  Signora 
INIargherita  Cantelma,  and  since  we  do  not  know  how 
your  affairs  at  Vicenza  are  prospering,  you  must  tell 
us  if  we  can  help  you,  and  may  always  depend  on  our 
goodwill.     Benevalete"^     Salo,  25th  March  1514. 

*  A.  Pedrazzoli,  op.  cit.  ;  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cit. 


On  the  same  evening,  Isabella  sent  her  husband 
the  following  lively  letter,  in  which  politics  and  grave 
questions  of  state  are  mingled  with  amusing  accounts 
of  her  own  experiences  and  adventures : — 

"  Your  Excellency  acts  Uke  a  prudent  doctor,  and 
gives  me  pink  sugar  to  take  away  the  bitter  taste  of 
your  medicine  1  If  my  stomach  was  upset  by  the  last 
news  you  sent  me,  your  letter  of  yesterday  has  quite 
settled  it  again.  I  am  truly  glad  to  hear  that  the 
Duke  of  Milan's  affairs  are  in  a  less  dangerous  con- 
dition than  you  feared,  and  that  those  of  my  brother 
the  Duke  have  come  safely  into  port,  and  also  that 
the  Pope  appears  to  be  so  well-disposed  towards  our 
own  State.  I  thank  Your  Excellency  exceedingly, 
and  kiss  your  hand  and  lips  for  sending  me  all  this 
good  news,  which  will  make  me  enjoy  this  beautiful 
land  more  than  ever,  thanks  to  your  goodness  and 
kindness.  Yesterday  I  was  at  Grignano,  where  the 
inhabitants  entertained  me  with  gifts  of  fish  and 
pomegranates,  and  also  with  a  long  Italian  oration 
delivered  by  a  tiresome  pedant  in  the  most  ornate 
language.  Nor  let  Your  Signory  imagine  that  this 
was  the  first,  although  it  certainly  was  the  most 
wonderful,  to  which  I  have  had  to  hsten.  At 
Lonato,  I  heard  three :  two  in  Italian,  spoken  by  the 
citizens,  and  one  in  Latin,  delivered  by  a  child  of 
seven  !  At  Sermione,  two  more  from  the  Sindaco  of 
the  Commune,  and  a  third  from  the  Vicar.  Here  at 
Salo,  two  of  medium  excellence — neither  too  exquisite 
nor  yet  too  vulgar — but  more  useful,  since  they  were 
accompanied  by  a  fine  present,  as  I  told  Your  Ex- 
cellency. All  along  this  Riviera  they  receive  me 
with  royal  honours,  as  a  Magnifica  Signora  !  I  spent 
to-day  visiting  churches  and  convents,  and  attended 

LOYALTY   OF   THE   PEOPLE        107 

high  mass  at  the  chief  church,  which  is  much  finer 
than  any  of  ours  in  Mantua,  and  has  a  large  college 
of  priests  and  singers.  This  is  reaUy  a  dehghtful 
place,  and  I  do  not  wonder  that  Rouen  (Cardinal 
d'Amboise)  appropriated  it  to  his  own  use,  and  that 
Gurk,  out  of  rivalry,  tried  to  acquire  it  for  himself ! 
I  have  enjoyed  the  lovely  scenery  and  fine  air  of  aU 
these  places  extremely,  and  the  weather  has  been  very 
kind  to  me,  but  all  the  more  delicate  fruit  trees  have 
been  killed  by  the  severity  of  the  two  last  winters.  I 
fill  the  sheet  with  these  trifles,  because  I  have  nothing 
better  to  say  I  To-morrow  we  go  back  to  Sermione, 
and  have  given  up  Laciso,  because  the  accommodation 
is  too  bad.  Then  we  shall  return  to  Mantua,  where 
I  trust  I  may  find  Your  Excellency  in  better  health 
than  when  you  wrote  last,  as  I  still  hope  that  this 
spring  weather  may  do  you  good.  And  may  God 
have  mercy  on  you  ! " 

The  next  day  Isabella  rowed  back  across  the 
lake  to  Sermione,  since  it  was  impossible  to  find 
lodgings  for  so  large  a  suite  in  the  villages  on  the 
eastern  side  of  the  lake,  at  the  foot  of  Monte  Baldo. 
From  here  she  wrote  a  last  letter  to  her  husband : — 

"  I  read  your  letter  of  yesterday,  in  reply  to  mine, 
with  great  pleasure,  since  you  speak  of  some  improve- 
ment in  your  health,  and  hope,  now  that  the  spring 
has  come  and  you  can  take  change  of  air,  you  will  go 
on  improving  steadily.  This  afternoon  I  came  here, 
and  have  been  more  enthusiastically  welcomed  than 
ever  by  the  poor  people,  who  came  out  in  their  boats 
and  small  crafts,  hung  with  laurels,  to  meet  me,  and 
greeted  me  with  much  shouting  and  ringing  of  bells. 
Certainly  these  poor  feUows  show  great  affection  for 
Your  Excellency.     If  I  had  allowed  it,  they  would 


have  entertained  me  entirely  at  their  own  expense. 
The  governor  of  the  Commune  accompanied  me  to 
Sal6  with  two  boats,  and  kept  them  there  for  the  use 
of  my  household,  and  now  they  have  made  me  a  fresh 
present  of  fish.  I  tell  Your  Excellency  this,  to  show 
you  how  loving  and  faithful  they  are.  To-day  has 
not  been  without  its  event,  for  this  evening  my  page, 
Rodolfo,  was  about  to  jump  from  the  bridge  of  the 
Rocca  to  the  drawbridge,  when  a  wooden  post  sud- 
denly gave  way  and  he  fell  into  the  moat.  Luckily 
I  saw  him  fall,  and  had  a  pole  thrown  down,  by  which 
he  kept  himself  from  sinking  till  a  rope  could  be  let 
dovni  to  draw  him  up,  and  this  prompt  help,  together 
with  his  own  agility,  saved  his  life.  He  was  not  in 
the  least  hurt,  but  it  was  fortunate  I  was  near  the 
bridge,  or  perhaps  no  one  would  have  seen  him 
fall.  To-morrow  I  spend  here,  Tuesday  we  go  to 
Gdito,  and  on  Wednesday  hope  to  be  back  at 
Mantua."  ^ 

Isabella  had  not  been  at  home  many  weeks  before 
pressing  invitations  reached  her  from  her  nephew 
Maximilian,  who  declared  if  she  did  not  come  this 
time,  he  would  appear  at  Mantua  with  his  Swiss 
troops,  and  carry  her  off  by  force.  At  length,  she 
obtained  her  husband's  leave  to  pay  him  her  long- 
deferred  visit,  and  in  the  early  summer  days  she  set 
out  for  Milan  with  a  great  train  of  ladies  and  courtiers. 
The  whole  city  turned  out  to  meet  her,  and  greeted 
her  with  enthusiastic  acclamations  as  she  rode  up 
through  the  gates  where  the  Moro  and  Beatrice  had 
often  welcomed  her,  into  the  Castello  of  the  Sforzas. 
Here  the  Duke  entertained  her  as  before  with  a  round 
of  festivities,  and  took  her  with  him  to  Pavia,  which 

^  A.  Peilrazzoli,  op.  cit. 

FOR    THE   LAST   TIME  109 

she  had  not  seen  since  those  brilliant  days  of  old.  It 
was  for  the  last  time ;  Maximilian's  throne  was 
already  tottering  to  its  fall,  and  before  the  year  was 
over  he  had  been  driven  into  exile,  and  the  victor 
of  Marignano  was  reigning  in  his  stead. 



Isabella's  visit  to  Rome — Her  reception  by  Cardinal  Bibbiena  and 
Giuliano  dei  Medici — Fetes  in  her  honour — Representation 
of  "La  Calandria"  in  the  Vatican — Her  visit  to  Naples — 
Leo  X.  keeps  her  in  Rome  for  the  carnival — Her  return  to 
Mantua  and  regrets  for  Rome — Francis  I,  attacks  Milan — 
Victory  of  Marignano — Abdication  of  Maximilian  Sforza — 
Federico  Gonzaga  at  the  French  Court — Death  of  Giuliano — 
Conquest  of  Urbino  by  Lorenzo  dei  Medici — Flight  of  the 
Duke  and  Duchesses  to  Mantua. 

In  the  autumn  of  1514,  one  of  Isabella's  most  cherished 
and  long-delayed  wishes  was  at  length  fulfilled,  and 
for  the  first  time  in  her  life  she  went  to  Rome.  Since 
the  accession  of  Leo  X.  she  had  received  pressing 
invitations  from  her  friends.  Cardinal  Bibbiena  and 
Pietro  Bembo,  but  had  been  compelled  to  defer  her 
visit  owing  to  Francesco's  ill-health.  During  that 
summer,  however,  his  condition  showed  some  signs 
of  improvement,  while  the  alarming  rumours  which 
came  from  Rome  of  the  Pope's  designs  against 
Ferrara  and  Urbino  increased  Isabella's  anxiety  to 
cultivate  the  PontifTs  friendship.  Accordingly  she 
started  for  Rome  early  in  October,  and  was  met  at 
Bolsena  by  Giuliano  dei  Medici,  Cardinal  Bibbiena, 
and  rUnico  Aretino.  Since  his  brother  Pietro 
Accolti's  elevation  to  the  Cardinalate,  the  vanity  of 
this  popular  improvisatore  knew  no  bounds.  He 
spoke  openly  of  that  prelate  as  the  next  Pope,  and 



announced  that  he  himself  would  not  be  satisfied 
with  anything  short  of  the  crown  of  Naples  and  the 
hand  of  the  widowed  Duchess.  On  this  occasion  he 
declared  that  he  held  a  papal  bull  empowering  him 
to  act  as  commissioner  in  bringing  the  Marchesa 
to  Rome ;  upon  which  Bibbiena  and  Giuliano  en- 
deavoured to  mystify  him  by  pointing  out  first  one 
lady  of  Isabella's  suite,  then  another,  as  the  Marchesa, 
Until  he  was  about  to  give  up  the  search  in  despair. 
When  at  length  he  discovered  the  trick  which  his 
companions  had  played  upon  him,  he  broke  into  a 
furious  passion,  and  his  rage  excited  the  merriment  of 
the  whole  company. 

On  the  18th  of  October,  Isabella  entered  Rome, 
and  received  the  most  cordial  welcome  from  Pope 
Leo  and  all  the  members  of  the  Sacred  College. 
During  the  next  six  weeks  her  time  was  spent  in 
visiting  the  remains  of  ancient  Rome  and  the  wonders 
of  the  Vatican.  She  saw  with  her  own  eyes  the 
statues  of  which  she  had  heard  so  much  from 
Cristoforo  Romano  and  Bembo  and  her  own  son 
Federico,  and  realised  all  that  Castiglione  and 
Bibbiena  had  said  of  the  sublime  greatness  of  Michel 
Angelo's  creations  and  of  the  surpassing  grace 
and  perfection  of  Raphael's  art.  She  chmbed  the 
Capitol  with  the  thought  of  Mantegna's  Triumphs 
in  her  heart,  and  looked  down  from  the  Loggia  of 
the  Belvedere  on  the  purple  plains  of  the  Cam- 
pagna  and  the  Alban  Hills.  She  knelt  with  deep 
devotion  at  the  shrine  of  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles, 
and  walked  in  Angelo  Colocci's  famous  gardens 
on  the  slopes  of  the  Pincio  and  Quirinal,  attended 
by  the  foremost  scholars  of  the  day.  Bembo  and 
Bibbiena,  Sadoleto  and    Castiglione  were  the  com- 


panions  of  her  daily  walks  and  rides  in  the  Eternal 
City.  The  learned  librarian  of  the  Vatican,  Tommaso 
Inghirami,  the  Pheedrus  of  the  humanists,  became 
one  of  the  Marchesa's  greatest  admirers,  while  Colocci 
discussed  Provencal  poetry  with  her,  and  asked  her  to 
accept  a  copy  of  his  rare  book  on  the  Limousin  poets. 
Chigi  entertained  her  at  magnificent  feasts  in  his  new 
villa,  where  the  costliest  wines  and  rarest  delicacies 
were  served  on  the  most  exquisitely  wrought  gold 
and  silver  plate,  in  halls  adorned  by  the  first  painters 
of  the  day.  There  Isabella  saw  Raphael's  beautiful 
fresco  of  the  milk-white  Galatea  driving  her  chariot 
on  the  waves,  which  was  the  wonder  and  delight  of  all 
the  humanists  in  Rome  and  Urbino.  And  Raphael 
himself  was  in  all  Hkelihood  the  Marchesa's  guide 
among  the  excavations,  and  showed  her  the  wonder- 
ful paintings  and  stuccoes  which  had  been  lately 
brought  to  light  in  the  Baths  of  Titus  and  the  Golden 
House  of  Nero.  Isabella  certainly  met  the  great 
master,  who  was  then  at  the  height  of  his  fame  and 
had  recently  been  appointed  architect  of  St.  Peter's 
by  the  Pope.  And  as  he  talked  with  her  of  the  old 
days  of  Urbino,  of  his  father,  who  had  painted  her 
portrait,  and  of  his  first  patrons,  the  good  Duke  and 
Duchess,  she  begged  him  with  a  charming  smile 
to  paint  a  little  Madonna  for  her  whenever  he  had 
a  few  spare  moments.  Of  course  Raphael,  who  was 
"  la  gentilezza  stessa"  promised  gladly,  and  then 
went  back  to  his  frescoes  and  buildings  and  his 
plans  of  ancient  Rome,  and  forgot  all  about  the 
Marchesa  and  her  picture. 

Cardinals  and  princes  vied  with  each  other  in 
doing  their  illustrious  guest  honour,  and  entertained 
her  at  sumptuous  banquets  or  dainty  little  suppers, 


where  the  Aretine  recited  his  latest  verses  and  the 

Pope's  pet  buffoon,  Fra  Mariano,  indulged  in  those 

mad  freaks  that  afforded  His  Holiness  such  infinite 

amusement  and  made  his  guests  laugh  till  the  tears 

ran  down  their  cheeks.     But  the  most  memorable  of 

all  the  entertainments  that  were  given  in  Isabella's 

honour  was  the  representation  of  Cardinal  Bibbiena's 

•'  Calandria  "  before  the  Pope  in  the  Vatican.^     This 

comedy  had  been  acted  for  the  first  time  at  Urbino 

on  the  6th  of  February  1513,  under  the  direction  of 

Castiglione,  who  himself  described  the  performance  in 

a  well-known  letter  to  Cardinal  Lodovico  di  Canossa. 

The  play,  an  evident  imitation  of  the  "  Mensechmi  " 

of  Plautus,  deals  with  the  ridiculous  adventures  of  a 

twin  brother  and  sister,   whose  love   intrigues   and 

mistakes  afford  plenty  of  material  for  that  broad  farce 

in  which  the  Cardinal's  contemporaries  took  unfaihng 

dehght.     On  this  occasion  the  scenery  was  painted 

by  the  Siena  master,  Baldassarre  Peruzzi,  and  was  of 

the  most  elaborate  kind.     Vasari  expatiates  on  the 

beauty  and  variety  of  the  spectacle,  on  the  streets, 

palaces,  temples,  loggias,  and  piazzas,  all  in  admirable 

perspective,  that  were  cleverly  introduced  into  this 

limited    space,   in   such   a   manner   as   to   give   the 

impression  of  a  city  of  great  size  and  extent.     The 

interludes   of   ballets    and   tableaux,   transformation 

scenes  and  allegorical  representations  were  planned 

on  the  most  gorgeous  scale,  and  the  music  of  flutes 

and  viols  and  sweet  voices  of  the  singers  were  blended 

exquisitely  with  the  melodies  of  the  Pope's  new  organ, 

that   splendid   instrument  which  had  been  recently 

made  for  him  and  brought  to  Home  by  Lorenzo  da 


1  D'Ancona,  op.  cit.,  ii.  88. 
VOL.  II.  H 


Towards  the  end  of  November,  Isabella  paid  a 
visit  to  Naples,  and  saw  the  stately  palaces  and  de- 
licious gardens  of  that  ftiir  city  where  her  grandfather, 
uncles,  and  cousin  had  reigned  in  turn,  and  which 
was  now  the  home  of  the  Spanish  Viceroy.  The 
only  member  of  her  mother's  family  whom  she  found 
here  was  her  old  friend  and  cousin,  Isabella  of 
Aragon,  the  widowed  Duchess  of  Milan,  with  her  sole 
surviving  daughter.  Bona  Sforza.  It  was  probably 
owing  to  Isabella  d'Este's  intervention  that  this 
young  princess  was  betrothed  about  this  time  to 
her  cousin,  Maximilian,  the  young  Duke  of  Milan. 
But  this  proposed  union,  which  gave  her  mother 
unfeigned  joy,  never  took  place,  and  three  years  after 
Maximilian's  exile.  Bona  married  the  King  of  Poland, 
and  went  to  hve  at  Cracow.  This  youthful  princess 
always  retained  an  affectionate  remembrance  of  the 
Marchesa,  and  in  1522,  wrote  to  thank  Isabella  for 
sending  her  the  specimens  of  latest  Milanese  finery 
and  Mantuan  news,  addressing  her  as  "the  fount 
and  origin  of  all  the  beautiful  fashions  in  Italy."  ^ 

In  spite  of  these  altered  conditions  Isabella  greatly 
enjoyed  the  weeks  which  she  spent  at  Naples,  and 
was  feted  alike  by  Neapolitan  princes  and  Spanish 
grandees.  In  the  following  short  letter  to  her 
beloved  Federico  she  briefly  alludes  to  some  of  the 
gaieties  with  which  her  days  are  filled  : — 

"To  my  dearest  and  eldest  son  Federico.  Your 
letter  of  the  22nd  gave  me  great  pleasure.  I  am 
glad  to  see  that  your  generous  spirit  yields  to  none 
in  point  of  courtesy,  and  that  you  follow  your  illus- 
trious father's  example  by  being  splendid  and  liberal. 
I  can   only   exhort  you   to   persevere   in  the  same 

1  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  I90I,  p.  171. 


course,  which  will  be  to  us  a  source  of  continual 
joy.  For  an  account  of  our  amusements  here,  I 
must  refer  you  to  Benedetto  Capilupi's  letter,  in 
which  all  my  doings  are  fully  described.  To-day  I 
have  made  him  give  an  account  of  the  banquet 
that  was  given  us  by  the  Count  of  Chiaramonte, 
son  of  the  Prince  of  Bisignano.  We  wished  you 
could  have  been  present  to  see  how  gallantly  he 
entertained  me,  and  realise  how  fine  a  thing  it  is 
to  serve  ladies  and  be  able  to  turn  your  hand  to 
everything  at  the  right  time.  Keep  well,  and 
embrace  your  brothers  and  sisters  for  me."^  Naples, 
November  8,  1514. 

Among  the  nobles  by  whom  the  Marchesa  was 
splendidly  entertained  were  Fabrizio  Colonna,  who 
had  not  forgotten  the  generous  treatment  shown 
him  by  Alfonso  d'Este  after  the  battle  of  Ravenna, 
and  his  daughter  Vittoria's  husband,  the  Marchese 
di  Pescara.  This  brilliant  young  soldier  had  re- 
peatedly visited  his  wife's  relatives  at  Mantua,  and 
had  received  great  kindness  from  Isabella.  More 
than  this,  he  was  deeply  enamoured  of  her  charming 
maid-of-honour,  Delia,  whom  he  had  lately  met  at 
Milan,  and  who  was  now  at  Naples  with  her  mistress. 
This  attachment,  which  Pescara's  noble  and  de- 
voted wife  seems  never  to  have  suspected,  proved 
more  lasting  than  most  liaisons  of  the  kind.  The 
Marquis  kept  up  an  active  correspondence  with 
Delia,  and  sent  her  love  letters  of  the  most  passionate 
nature.  In  February  1522,  when  he  was  lying 
wounded  in  the  Rocchetta  at  Milan,  he  wrote 
to  Mario  Equicola  praying  to  be  commended 
to    the    Marchesa,    whose    hand   he   longs   to  kiss, 

1  D'Arco,  Notizie  d' Isabella,  p,  317. 


and  adds :  "  Of  Delia  I  dare  say  nothing,  since  I 
have  served  her  so  long."  Again  in  May  he  speaks 
of  her  in  a  letter  from  Naples,  saying :  "  God  grant 
that  I  may  see  her  once  more  before  I  die."  ^ 
If  Vittoria  ever  became  aware  of  the  Marchese's 
passion  for  Isabella's  fair  maid -of -honour,  the 
knowledge  certainly  never  altered  her  love  for  her 
husband,  to  whom  she  remained  absolutely  devoted, 
and  whose  premature  death  in  1525,  she  mourned 
with  the  truest  and  most  enduring  sorrow. 

Meanwhile  the  Marchesa's  return  was  eagerly 
awaited  in  Rome,  where,  by  the  Pope's  orders,  a 
series  of  new  comedies  was  prepared  for  her  amuse- 
ment, one  of  them  being  the  "  Andria  "  of  Terence, 
which  had  been  twice  performed  at  Mantua  in 
1513.  But  it  seems  doubtful  if  the  idea  of  re- 
peating the  "  Calandria,"  to  which  Agostino  Gonzaga 
alludes  in  a  letter  of  the  15th  of  December,  was 
carried  out.  By  the  Pope's  command,  Pietro 
Bembo  wrote  to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua  in  January, 
begging  him  to  allow  the  Marchioness  to  remain 
at  Rome  for  the  carnival  fetes,  a  request  which 
Francesco  felt  himself  unable  to  refuse.  His  Holi- 
ness had  his  way,  and  all  the  Cardinals  rejoiced 
"  Here,"  wrote  Pietro  Bembo,  "  we  have  had  the 
gayest  of  carnivals,  thanks  to  the  presence  of  the 
Signora  Marchesana."  ^  Isabella's  society,  as  the 
Pope  and  his  pleasure  -  loving  Cardinals  declared, 
supplied  the  one  element  that  was  lacking  at  the 
papal  court.  "All  Rome,"  wrote  Cardinal  Bib- 
biena  to  Giuliano  dei  Medici,  who  had  gone  to 
France    to   wed   a   princess   of  Savoy — "all   Rome 

1  Luzio,  F.  Colonna  Rivista  Mantovana,  1881. 

2  Lettered  iii.  47. 


says  that  nothing  is  wanting  here  but  a  Madonna 
to  hold  a  court."  The  wedding,  which  had  been 
delayed  by  the  death  of  Louis  XI L  on  the  1st  of 
January,  was  solemnised  in  February,  and  the  Pope 
was  anxious  that  Isabella  should  remain  in  Rome 
to  assist  at  the  festivities  in  honour  of  the  newly- 
married  pair.  But  her  sick  husband  was  growing 
restless  and  impatient  at  his  wife's  prolonged  absence, 
and  as  soon  as  the  carnival  fetes  were  over,  the 
Marchesa  tore  herself  reluctantly  away  from  Rome 
and  turned  homewards.  On  the  way  she  spent  a 
few  days  at  Florence,  where  she  was  sumptuously 
entertained  at  the  Pope's  expense,  and  lodged  in  the 
Medici  Palace.  After  this  she  travelled  by  rapid 
stages  to  Ferrara,  and  reached  Mantua  on  the 
18th  of  March.  That  evening  she  wrote  a  letter 
full  of  regrets  and  affectionate  messages  to 
Bibbiena : — 

"I  am  here  in  Mantua,  but  all  my  heart  is  in 
Rome.  At  least  1  can  feel  that  I  have  obeyed 
and  satisfied  my  husband.  But  only  think  how 
different  these  Httle  rooms  and  the  life  I  lead  here 
are  from  the  Vatican  halls  and  the  life  which  I  led  in 
Rome  I  My  body,  as  I  repeat,  is  here,  but  my  soul 
is  there !  In  spirit  I  am  still  taking  walks  with 
you,  enjoying  your  conversation  and  that  of  the 
other  Lord  Cardinals,  and  kissing  the  feet  of  His 
Holiness.  With  such  fond  imaginations  I  try  and 
deceive  myself,  and  spend  the  time  with  less  ennui, 
while  I  await  an  occasion  to  serve  Your  Most 
Reverend  Highness,  in  return  or  at  least  in  recog- 
nition of  the  infinite  obligations  which  your  kindness 
has  laid  upon  me."  ^ 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova  e  Urbino,  p.  215. 


Many  were  the  gifts  which  she  sent  to  Bembo 
and  Bibbiena  during  the  next  few  months  — 
dishes  of  salmon-trout  from  Garda,  and  boxes 
of  the  rare  perfumes  which  excited  the  envy 
of  all  Bembo's  friends.  But  the  most  singular 
present,  and  one  of  those  which  these  luxurious 
Monsignori  appreciated  the  most,  was  a  quilt  of 
choice  feathers  and  richly  embroidered  satin,  which 
the  Marchesa  sent  to  Cardinal  Bibbiena  that 
autumn.  In  December,  Bembo  wrote  begging  her, 
as  she  loved  her  old  friend,  to  give  him  a  similar 
quilt,  that  he  may  enjoy  the  same  refreshing  slumber 
and  dream  the  same  happy  dreams.  To  this  valued 
gift  the  Cardinal  alludes  in  a  long  and  intimate 
letter,  which  shows  that  Isabella  had  not  neglected 
any  opportunities  of  pleading  her  brother's  cause 
and  advancing  the  interests  of  her  husband's  State 
during  the  gay  Carnival  that  she  spent  in  Rome. 
In  the  course  of  this  letter,  which  was  written  from 
Florence  when  in  the  following  spring  he  accompanied 
Leo  X.  to  his  native  city,  Bibbiena  says  : — 

"Your  Excellency,  in  her  kind  and  courteous 
letter,  tells  me  that  she  has  so  much  idle  time  on 
her  hands  that  she  is  ready  to  make  a  present  of 
it  to  the  first  comer,  which  seems  a  difficult  thing  to 
believe,  knowing  as  I  do  that  even  if  you  had  no 
other  occupation  than  your  own  wise  and  charming 
thoughts,  you  could  never  be  idle.  In  truth,  like 
that  old  Roman  (was  it  Scipio  ?)  who  was  never  less 
alone  than  when  alone.  Your  Excellency  may  say 
you  are  never  idle  when  you  are  most  idle.  I  showed 
your  letter  to  His  Holiness,  who  read  it  very  gladly, 
and  with  more  praises  of  you  than  I  can  possibly 
express,  saying  that  the  affairs  of  your  brother,  the 


Duke,  were  already  arranged  according  to  your  de- 
sire, and  could  not  be  altered.  Towards  this  happy 
settlement  His  Holiness  was  from  the  first  so 
naturally  inclined  that  there  has  been  little  need 
of  my  intervention.  But  I  will  not  deny  that, 
besides  his  personal  inclination,  the  great  respect 
and  affection  with  which  His  Holiness  regards  Your 
Excellency  has  considerably  helped  to  bring  about 
this  fortunate  result.  I  will  obey  Your  Excellency 
with  regard  to  what  you  mentioned  to  me  in  Rome, 
and  will  not  breathe  a  syllable  to  any  one,  but  wait 
until  you  think  the  right  moment  has  come.  As 
for  your  illustrious  son,  I  really  believe  he  wiU 
turn  out  as  well  as  you  desire,  thanks  to  your 
prudence  and  loving  exhortations  and  to  his  own 
excellent  nature.  I  am  delighted  to  hear  of  Your 
Excellency's  high  credit  and  favour  with  your  illus- 
trious husband,  which  must  give  you  the  greatest 
satisfaction.  I  rejoice  greatly  over  this,  but  beg 
you  not  to  make  too  large  demands  on  his 
favour,  lest  you  should  some  day  hve  to  repent  of 
it.  I  am  also  very  glad  to  hear  the  said  Signore 
your  husband  is  better,  and  pray  that  God  may 
restore  him  completely  to  health,  so  that  Your  Ex- 
cellency may  be  the  better  able  to  enjoy  his  affection. 
The  feather  quilt  which  Your  Excellency  sent  me 
could  not  be  more  acceptable  than  it  is,  both  on 
account  of  its  rare  delicacy  and  beauty,  and  still 
more  because  it  comes  from  you.  Certainly  I  have 
never  slept  better  in  my  life,  and  I  should  not  forswear 
myself  were  I  to  swear  to  Your  Excellency  that  not 
a  single  night  passes  in  which  I  do  not  remember 
you  1  His  Holiness  hopes  that  you  will  send  him  the 
one  of  which  you  speak  in  your  letter,  and  really 


likes  the  idea  of  the  gift  extremely,  so  that  Your 
Excellency  may  safely  have  it  made  and  sent  to 
Rome  at  once.  The  fact  is,  you  may,  I  assure 
you,  treat  His  Holiness  with  as  much  friendhness  as 
you  would  Monsignore  your  brother,  since  it  is  cer- 
tain you  are  as  dear  to  him  as  a  sister  or  daughter. 
And  you  need  never  be  afraid  of  tiring  me  with 
your  letters,  which  are  so  delightful  that,  if  I 
were  not  the  most  discreet  of  persons,  I  should 
beg  you  to  let  me  hear  from  you  every  day ! 
But  since  you  write  to  me  with  your  own  hand,  I 
will  not  venture  on  such  a  request — not  that  I  do 
not  wish  for  your  letters  greatly,  but  that  I  fear  to 
tire  Your  Excellency.  Isabella's  messages  give  me 
supreme  satisfaction,  since  I  have  always  loved  and 
shall  love  Isabella  more  than  myself,  whether  or  not 
she  herself  loves  Mario  I "  ^ 

When  the  Marchesa  received  this  witty  letter  the 
joys  of  her  visit  to  Rome  already  lay  far  behind  her. 
The  year  which  began  so  gaily  had  brought  heavy  sor- 
rows and  anxieties  in  its  train,  and  it  needed  all  her 
foresight  and  prudence  to  cope  with  the  difficulties  in 
her  way.  The  accession  of  a  young  and  martial  king 
to  the  throne  of  France  had  worked  a  complete  revo- 
lution in  Italian  affairs,  and  the  disastrous  defeat  of 
the  Swiss  at  Marignano  had  sealed  the  doom  of  the 
luckless  Maximilian  Sforza.  On  the  4th  of  October 
1515,  he  surrendered  the  Castello,  and  abdicated  his 
throne  in  favour  of  Francis  I.,  who  allowed  him  to 
live  in  France  on  a  comfortable  pension.  The  event 
can  hardly  have  surprised  the  Marchesa,  who  by  this 
time  can  have  had  no  illusions  as  to  her  nephew's 
weakness  and   incapacity;   but   she   stiU  retained  a 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  op.  cit.,  App.  v. 


kindly  feeling  for  the  unfortunate  youth,  and  from 
his  exile  at  Amboise  he  sent  her  a  letter  by  the 
hand  of  his  Master  of  the  Horse  assuring  her  of  his 
welfare  and  unalterable  affection,  and  calling  her  his 
second  mother.  "  I  am  well,  thank  God,  and  as 
happy  as  my  friends  can  wish  to  see  me,  and  thought  I 
would  inform  Your  Excellency  of  this,  since,  knowing 
that  you  love  me  as  you  do,  this  will  give  you  pleasure. 
— Your  obedient  nephew  and  son,  Maximilian."^ 
October  6,  1516. 

Isabella's  chief  anxiety  now  was  to  make  friends 
with  the  victor,  and  Francis  I.  on  his  part  was  no 
less  eager  to  see  the  brilliant  Marchesa.  She,  how- 
ever, declined  his  pressing  invitation,  pleading  her 
lord's  ill-health  as  an  excuse,  and  decided  to  send 
her  son,  Federico,  to  do  homage  to  the  young- 
king  in  his  father's  stead.  The  three  years  which 
Federico  had  spent  at  the  court  of  Julius  II. 
had  not  been  thrown  away.  If  his  Roman  experi- 
ences can  hardly  be  said  to  have  exerted  a 
beneficial  effect  on  his  morals,  they  had  made  him 
a  finished  courtier,  graceful  and  attractive  in  person, 
quick  and  ready  of  speech,  as  well  as  wise  and  cautious 
beyond  his  years.  Since  his  return  he  had  pursued 
his  studies  during  two  years  and  a  half  in  the  charge 
of  his  excellent  tutor,  Vigilio,  under  the  eye  of  his 
careful  mother.  Amid  all  the  attractions  and  excite- 
ments of  Rome,  Isabella  never  forgot  the  boy  whose 
welfare  lay  so  near  her  heart,  and  received  constant 
reports  of  his  progress  from  good  Messer  Francesco. 

"  During  Your  Highness's  absence,"  he  writes  on 
the  5th  of  February  1515,  "your  son,  my  master 
Signor  Federico,  has  not  failed  to  attend  my  instruc- 
tions twice  a  day.     It  is  true  that  he  cannot  keep 

1   Luzio.  Arch.  St.  I^mh.,  1901,  p.  l68. 


up  his  attention  for  more  than  an  hour,  or  a  little 
longer,  but  during  this  time  he  is  really  attentive 
and  diligent.  We  have  gone  through  the  abridged 
history  of  Livy,  and  he  has  translated  two  books  of 
Valerius  with  me  at  hand  to  help  him  when  he 
seemed  puzzled,  and  now  he  knows  Roman  history 
and  the  laws  and  constitution  of  the  State  so  well, 
that  he  can  sometimes  remind  me  of  things  that  I 
have  forgotten,  and  even  find  me  the  passage  I 
require.  I  have  taught  him  a  work  of  Ovid,  In  Ibim, 
full  of  little-known  stories  and  fables,  and  he  seems 
particularly  fond  of  history,  which  I  think  is  especially 
useful  for  a  prince.  I  have  also  read  some  beautiful 
elegies  with  him.  He  does  not  find  verses  easy, 
although  he  knows  how  to  scan  them,  but  he  con- 
strues orations  very  easily.  Every  day  I  dictate 
some  Epistles  to  him,  which  he  writes  correctly — 
unless  he  makes  an  accidental  slip — and  every  day  I 
expound  an  Epistle  of  Cicero  to  him,  in  order  that 
he  may  acquire  a  good  style.  In  the  grammar 
examination  he  answered  my  questions  more  quickly 
and  better  than  any  of  the  other  boys.  I  have  made 
him  run  through  Petrarch,  as  good  practice  in  read- 
ing, and  he  himself  has  chosen  to  read  some  books 
of  the  Orlando,  on  which  he  often  spends  as  much 
as  two  hours  at  a  time.  This  is  our  method  of 
learning  letters.  As  for  his  conduct  in  other  ways, 
I  see  nothing  in  him  which  does  not  lead  me  to  hope 
for  a  glorious  and  honourable  career,  and  although 
the  natural  ardour  of  youth  inclines  him  to  love, 
his  conduct  in  this  respect  persuades  me  that  he 
will  avoid  the  licence  which  is  displeasing  both  to 
God  and  men.  I  earnestly  entreat  Your  Excel- 
lency to  condescend  to  help  my  labours  with  your 

HE   GOES   TO   MILAN  123 

exhortations. — Your   devoted    servant,    Jo.    Franc. 


The  excellent  tutor's  description  of  Federico's 
tastes  and  habits  agrees  with  all  we  know  of  this 
prince  in  after  life.  Without  ever  attaining  to  his 
mother  or  brother  Ercole's  love  of  learning,  he  was 
decidedly  more  cultured  than  his  father  or  Gonzaga 
uncles,  and  from  his  boyhood  he  inherited  the  Estes' 
passion  for  chivalrous  romances,  of  which  he  made 
a  large  collection  in  future  years.  Now,  at  the  age 
of  fifteen,  he  asked  nothing  better  than  to  leave  his 
books  and  seek  fresh  experiences  at  the  gay  court  of 
Milan.  Here  he  found  a  gracious  reception  and  was 
invited  to  accompany  Francis  I.  to  Vigevano.  The 
Venetian  envoy,  Contarini,  describes  Federico  as  a 
handsome  and  graceful  boy,  who  entertained  the 
young  patricians  in  his  suite  at  a  feast  that  was 
equally  remarkable  for  good  cheer  and  good  com- 
pany, and  sent  them  away  charmed  with  his  courtesy 
and  amazed  at  his  feats  of  horsemanship.  The  young 
prince  took  an  active  part  in  the  royal  hunting 
parties  and  games  at  palla.  His  letters  to  his  mother 
give  a  lively  picture  of  His  Most  Christian  Majesty 
joining  in  the  game  of  palla  in  as  vigorous  a  fashion 
as  any  football  player  of  to-day,  giving  and  receiving 
blows  in  the  scuffle,  knocking  over  his  courtiers, 
and  coming  into  violent  collision  with  the  tall  and 
athletic  Gonzaga  prince,  Federico  of  Bozzolo,  amidst 
the  laughter  of  the  bystanders.  But  Isabella's  son, 
who  had  barely  two  hundred  ducats  in  his  purse, 
found  it  quite  impossible  to  accept  the  king's  invita- 
tion to  play  cards  with  him,  and  win  or  lose  hundreds 
of  ducats  in  a  single  game.^ 

*  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxi.  296,  329. 


The  young  king  was  much  fascinated  by  the 
beauty  and  rich  attire  of  the  Milanese  ladies,  and  de- 
sired Federico  to  ask  his  mother,  of  whose  taste  and 
charms  he  heard  so  much,  to  send  him  a  wax  doll 
clad  in  the  Mantuan  style,  with  the  pattern  of 
robe,  vest  and  sleeves  worn  by  herself,  and  hair 
dressed  in  the  same  fashion,  so  that  the  French 
ladies  might  be  able  to  copy  them.  Isabella  re- 
plied :  "  We  will  gladly  send  a  figure  arrayed  m 
all  the  fashions  that  we  wear  on  our  backs  and  heads, 
to  please  His  Most  Christian  Majesty,  but  fear  he 
will  see  nothing  new,  as  here  we  dress  exactly  in 
the  same  style  as  the  Milanese  ladies."^  It  was  a 
more  serious  matter  when  Francis  I.  expressed  the 
keenest  curiosity  to  see  Brognina,  the  fair  but  frail 
maid-of-honour  whose  flirtations  had  already  excited 
so  many  quarrels,  and  actually  sent  the  Bishop  of 
Nice  with  a  forged  papal  brief  to  bring  her  from  the 
convent  at  Gdito.  Fortunately  a  band  of  Spanish 
cavaliers,  whose  help  Brognina  implored,  waylaid  the 
party,  and  compelled  this  worthless  prelate  to  beat  an 
ignominious  retreat.^  In  spite  of  this  discreditable 
affair,  Federico  succeeded  in  retaining  the  king's 
favour,  and  Isabella  consented  reluctantly  to  allow 
her  son  to  return  with  him  to  France  in  January. 
On  this  journey,  as  before,  Federico  was  accom- 
panied by  his  trusted  servant,  Stazio  Gadio, 
who  in  his  letters  to  the  Marchesa  describes  the 
king's  entry  into  Marseilles,  where  the  life  of  St. 
Louis  was  represented  in  a  series  of  tableaux.  At 
Aix,  scenes  from  the  Old  Testament  were  performed 
in  his  honour,  while  at  Avignon  Federico  witnessed  a 

1  Luzio,  Nuova  Antologia,  1896,  p.  4i66. 

2  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1901,  p.  l67. 


dance  of  Jews  and  Jewesses,  and  a  curious  representa- 
tion in  which  three  figures,  clad  as  St.  Peter,  Martha, 
and  Mary  Magdalene,  came  out  to  welcome  the 
king's  return,  as  of  old  "  they  had  rejoiced  over  the 
resurrection  of  Lazarus  ! "  During  the  next  spring 
and  summer,  Federico  remained  at  the  French  court, 
and  accompanied  Francis  I.  to  Blois,  Amboise,  and 
his  other  royal  chateaux. 

But  if  all  fear  of  danger  from  this  quarter  was 
removed,  the  Marchesa  watched  with  increasing 
anxiety  the  development  of  the  Pope's  ambitious 
designs  against  Urbino.  In  June  1515,  the  baton  of 
Papal  Gonfaloniere  was  suddenly  withdrawn  from 
Francesco  Maria  and  bestowed  upon  Giuhano  dei 
Medici,  and  although  Leo  X.  assured  the  Duke  of 
Urbino  of  his  unchanging  friendship,  not  even  Bib- 
biena's  protestations  could  remove  Isabella's  suspi- 
cions. The  Pope's  duplicity  in  the  matter  has  been 
abundantly  proved,  and  when  Francis  I.  came  to 
meet  him  at  Bologna  in  December,  before  his  return 
to  France,  he  reluctantly  consented  to  sacrifice 
Urbino  in  return  for  the  restoration  of  Parma  and 
Piacenza.  As  long,  however,  as  his  brother  Giuliano 
lived,  Leo  X.  refrained  from  action.  This  prince 
could  not  forget  the  debt  of  gratitude  which  he 
owed  to  the  ducal  family  and  the  ties  of  old  friend- 
ship and  affection  which  bound  him  to  the  Gonzagas 
and  Delia  Roveres,  and  when  the  Pope  came  to  see 
him  at  Fiesole  in  his  last  illness,  he  begged  him  with 
his  dying  breath  not  to  attack  the  Duke  of  Urbino. 
But  Leo  only  told  him  to  get  well  and  not  trouble 
himself  about  such  matters.^  On  the  19th  of  Feb- 
ruary the  Pope  returned  to  Rome,  and  Bibbiena,  who 

1  Alberi,  Relazioni  Venete,  series  iii.  2 ;  Dennistoun,  ii.  346,  &c. 


remained  at  Fiesole,  wrote  to  Isabella,  saying  that  he 
had  given  his  dying  friend  her  kind  messages,  but 
that  he  feared  there  was  little  hope  of  the  Duke's 
recovery.  A  month  later  GiuUano  died — on  the  17th 
of  March — lamented  by  all  the  friends  of  his  family  as 
the  best  of  the  Medici.  His  office  of  Gonfaloniere  of 
the  Church  was  immediately  bestowed  on  his  nephew, 
Lorenzo,  and  the  Duke  of  Urbino  was  summoned  to 
appear  in  Rome  and  answer  a  long  list  of  charges, 
including  the  murder  of  Cardinal  AUdosi,  under  Pope 
Juhus  II. 

In  vain  young  Federico  Gonzaga  interceded  with 
Francis  I.  on  his  brother-in-law's  behalf;  in  vain  the 
widowed  Duchess  Elisabetta  herself  hastened  to 
Rome  to  see  the  Pope,  and  remind  Lorenzo  of  the 
days  when  his  father  had  sought  refuge  at  Urbino, 
and  she  had  nursed  him  in  her  own  arms.  His 
Holiness  received  her  with  the  greatest  cordiality, 
the  Cardinals  flocked  to  pay  her  court,  and  Bembo 
once  more  assured  her  of  his  unalterable  devotion. 
But  when  at  a  subsequent  audience  the  Duchess 
appealed  to  the  Holy  Father's  compassion,  and  re- 
minded him  of  their  old  friendship,  and  of  the 
hospitality  which  he  and  his  dead  brother  had  en- 
joyed at  Urbino  during  their  exile,  the  Pope  only 
shrugged  his  shoulders  and  looked  at  her  through 
his  eye-glass.  "  Ah  I  Holy  Father,"  continued  the 
Duchess,  gathering  courage  as  she  spoke,  "  do  you 
not  remember  how  in  those  days  we  used  to  pray 
that  you  might  be  restored  to  your  own  ?  And  do 
you  wish  to  drive  us  out  of  house  and  home,  and 
turn  us  out  to  beg  our  way  in  the  world  ?  Do 
you  not  remember  yourself  how  bitter  a  thing  it 
is  to  roam  over  Italy  as  an  exile  and  a  beggar  ? "     But 


the  Pope  refused  to  utter  a  single  word,  and  the 
poor  Duchess  returned  to  Urbino  in  despair.^ 

On  the  27th  of  April,  Francesco  Maria  was  ex- 
communicated and  deprived  of  his  states,  and  in 
May,  Lorenzo  dei  Medici  invaded  Urbino  at  the 
head  of  20,000  men.  The  Duke,  with  the  help  of 
a  brave  Mantuan  captain,  Alessio  Beccaguto,  whom 
his  father-in-law  had  sent  to  his  assistance,  made  a 
vain  attempt  at  resistance,  but  his  own  subjects 
turned  against  him,  and  after  throwing  his  guns 
into  the  river,  he  retired  to  Pesaro.  Here  he  em- 
barked with  the  two  Duchesses  and  all  his  most 
valuable  property,  and  travelled  by  sea  to  Mantua. 

A  violent  tempest  drove  the  ships  in  which  the 
unfortunate  refugees  sailed  across  the  Adriatic,  and, 
according  to  one  account,  "some  700  miles  to  the 
east,  almost  on  to  the  Slavonian  shores,"  but  at  length 
the  fury  of  the  gale  abated,  and  on  the  8th  of  June 
they  reached  Pietola,  where  lodgings  had  been  hur- 
riedly prepared  for  them.  Isabella  herself  was  stay- 
ing with  her  kinsman  Luigi  Gonzaga  in  his  summer 
palace  of  Borgoforte,  on  the  Po,  some  miles  south  of 
Mantua,  and  here  the  poor  Duchesses  came  to  visit  her, 
but  the  Marquis  shrank  from  exciting  the  Pope's  dis- 
pleasure by  receiving  the  exiles  under  his  own  roof, 
and  they  decided  to  remain  at  Pietola  for  the  present. 

"  To-day,"  wrote  Ippolito  Calandra  to  his  young 
lord  Federico  Gonzaga,  "  Isabella  Lavagnola  came 
to  Mantua,  to  send  beds  to  Pietola  for  the  Duke 
and  Duchesses  of  Urbino,  who  are  expected  there 
to-night.  Their  little  son,  Signor  Guidobaldo,  has 
already  been  lodged  in  Your  Highness's  rooms  in 
the  Corte  for  the  last  four  days,  and  is  the  cleverest 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  229. 

128  FLIGHT   OF   THE   DUKE 

and  most  charmin<^  child  in  the  world.  He  talks 
boldly  of  all  the  great  things  he  will  do,  and  says : 
*  If  Pope  Leo  had  come  by  himself,  he  could  never 
have  taken  my  father's  State  I'  and  other  things 
which  make  us  all  marvel,  since  he  is  only  just  two 
years  old.  The  rooms  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess 
are  being  prepared  in  the  Corte."  But  a  few  days 
later  the  same  writer  explained  that  the  illustrious 
exiles  and  their  suite  are  to  remain  at  Pietola  for 
the  present,  until  the  Pope  has  granted  permission 
for  them  to  come  to  Mantua,  and  are  made  as 
comfortable  as  they  can  be  under  present  circum- 
stances. "  Yesterday,"  he  continues,  "  my  mother 
and  I  went  to  see  Their  Highnesses,  and  kissed  their 
hands,  and  the  Duke  and  Duchess  immediately 
asked  after  you  and  how  you  like  France,  and  many 
other  things.  Before  I  left,  the  widowed  Duchess 
came  out  under  the  loggia  to  enjoy  the  cool  evening 
air.  The  young  Duchess  went  upstairs  to  bed,  the 
Duke  having  sent  for  her,  and  I  stayed  downstairs. 
Then  the  widowed  Duchess  began  to  tell  us  how 
she  went  to  Rome  to  see  the  Pope  and  how  badly 
he  had  treated  her,  and  when  she  had  finished  speak- 
ing there  was  no  one  who  could  help  weeping."  ^ 

The  utmost  compassion  was  felt  on  all  sides  for 
this  good  and  gentle  princess,  who  had  thus  for  the 
second  time  been  unjustly  exiled  from  her  home,  and 
was  once  more  forced  to  depend  upon  the  charity  of 
others.  Fortunately  Elisabetta  had  a  kind  and  loving 
friend  in  Isabella,  who  did  all  that  was  possible  to 
alleviate  her  painful  position,  and  seems  to  have  been 
more  deeply  attached  to  her  sister-in-law  than  she  ever 
was  to  her  own  daughter,  Duchess  Leonora. 
*  Luzio  e  Renier,  op.  cit.,  pp.  228,  229. 

caZ^^z-z^/vz^  S'onyla.tfO.,  .^uJA/.rJifyk)  {>4    //-r/'f 



The  Duchesses  of  Urbino  hve  in  great  poverty  at  Mantua — 
Raphael's  dishes  melted  down — Marriage  of  CastigUone — 
Francesco  Maria  tries  to  recover  Urbino,  but  is  forced  to 
make  terms  with  the  Pope — Isabella's  journey  to  Provence — 
Betrothal  of  Federico  Gonzaga  to  Maria  di  Montferrato — 
Isabella's  Latin  studies — Visit  of  Contarini  and  Soranzo  to 
the  Castello  —  Cristoforo  Solari  at  Mantua —  Fra  Francesco  at 
Porto — Bandello  the  novelist — His  relations  with  the  Marchesa 
and  pictures  of  her  court. 

On  the  18th  of  August,  the  Pope's  nephew,  Lorenzo 
dei  Medici,  was  created  Duke  of  Urbino,  and  at  the 
same  time  Leo  X.  signed  a  convention  with  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua  by  which  Francesco  Maria,  who 
is  described  as  "  formerly  Duke  of  Urbino,"  and  his 
family  were  allowed  to  reside  in  his  father-in-law's 
dominions,  on  condition  of  never  leaving  them  with- 
out the  Pope's  permission,  or  entering  into  any 
negotiations  with  his  former  subjects  or  with  other 
powers.^  During  the  next  five  years  the  two 
Duchesses  occupied  rooms  in  the  Corte  Vecchia 
of  the  Castello,  and  only  left  Mantua  to  pay  an 
occasional  visit  to  Venice.  The  Marquis  made 
them  a  yearly  allowance  of  6000  ducats,  but  in 
spite  of  this  generous  pension  the  poor  ladies  were 
often  reduced  to  great  straits.  Soon  after  their 
arrival  they  were  compelled  to  melt  down  the 
costly  silver  plate  which   they  had    brought  from 

1  D'Arco  in  Arch.  St.  It.,  App.  ii.  285. 
VOL.  II.  ^^  I 


Urbino,  and  amongst  others,  two  magnificent  dishes 
of  embossed  gilt  bronze,  which  had  been  designed 
in  antique  style  by  Raphael.  Isabella,  to  whom 
they  were  offered  in  the  first  place  by  Elisabetta, 
who  grieved  to  see  such  beautiful  works  of  art 
destroyed,  seems  to  have  been  unable  to  raise 
money  for  their  purchase.  Her  own  private  fortune 
as  well  as  the  resources  of  the  State  were  sorely 
strained  to  meet  the  heavy  expenses  entailed  by 
the  misfortunes  which  had  befallen  their  kinsfolk. 
She  pledged  her  jewels  and  melted  down  her  plate, 
while  new  taxes  had  to  be  levied  and  the  strictest 
economy  practised  in  order  to  supply  the  new  de- 
mands upon  the  Treasury.  Her  letters  to  Federico 
during  his  absence  show  how  great  was  the  diffi- 
culty she  found  in  supplying  him  with  money 
sufficient  to  enable  him  to  appear  at  the  French 
court  with  the  splendour  befitting  his  rank,  while 
at  the  same  time  she  had  to  provide  for  the  members 
of  his  household  at  Mantua.  "  You  ask  me,"  she 
writes,  "to  pay  your  servant,  Prete  Stefano,  which 
I  would  gladly  have  done  if  it  had  been  possible  to 
perform  miracles  and  feed  five  thousand  with  a  little 
bread  and  still  less  fish.  But  with  twenty-eight  or 
thirty  measures  of  wheat,  and  eight  or  nine  barrels 
of  Friuli  wine,  which  are  all  the  provisions  for  your 
household  that  remain,  it  is  impossible  to  keep  all 
your  servants.  Your  tutor,  M.  Francesco  Vigilio, 
has  also  asked  for  help,  which  we  cannot  give  him." 
Prete  Stefano  was  a  favourite  buffoon,  who  had  ac- 
companied Federico  to  Milan,  where  he  showed  off 
his  tricks  before  the  Venetian  envoys,  and  rivalled 
the  famous  clown  Triboulet.  He  deUghted  King 
Francis  by  appearing  as  a  woman  at  a  masquerade, 


and  was  pronounced  by  Alfonso  d'Este  to  be  a  fool 
worthy  of  the  greatest  monarch  in  the  world.^ 

Federico's  correspondents,  however,  had  one  good 
piece  of  news  to  give  in  the  letters  which  they 
addressed  to  him  from  Mantua  that  autumn.  This 
was  the  marriage  of  the  accomplished  courtier  Cas- 
tiglione,  who  had  returned  to  his  old  home  with  the 
exiled  princes  of  Urbino.  On  the  17th  of  October, 
he  took  to  wife  Ippolita  Torelli,  a  fair  young  girl  of 
fifteen,  whose  mother  was  a  daughter  of  Giovanni 
Bentivoglio,  formerly  lord  of  Bologna,  and  sister  of 
Giovanni  Gonzaga's  wife.  The  union  had  been 
planned  by  the  Gonzagas,  who  gladly  welcomed 
the  return  of  their  old  favourite,  and  honoured  the 
home-coming  of  the  bride  with  their  presence. 
The  young  Duchess  Leonora  rode  out  in  a  chariot 
to  meet  her  with  Laura  Bentivoglio,  and  a  long 
train  of  courtiers,  while  Isabella  and  Elisabetta 
received  her  in  the  bridegroom's  house,  that  ancient 
thirteenth-centuTy palazzo  which  still  rears  its  stately 
portals  on  the  Piazza  Sordello.  As  a  mark  of  special 
favour,  the  Marquis  drove  out  to  the  meadows  of  the 
T^,  where  he  kept  his  vast  stables,  and  descended 
from  his  chariot  to  kiss  the  bride's  hands  and  wel- 
come the  happy  pair.  Two  days  afterwards,  a 
dramatic  representation  was  given  in  honour  of  this 
event  at  the  house  of  Giovanni  Gonzaga,  in  the 
Borgo  Pradella.  A  comedy  called  "Gog  and  Magog," 
written  some  years  before  by  Castiglione's  dead  friend, 
the  young  Mantuan  poet  Falcone,  was  performed. 
"  Madama  was  present,"  writes  Amico  della  Torre  to 
Federico,  "  with  the  whole  court,  and  Monsignore  de 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxi.  329 ;  Luzio  e  Renier  in  Nuova  AntO' 
logia,  1891,  121. 

132  WAR   OF   URBINO 

St.  Pol,  and  many  French  gentlemen,  but  Lautrec 
did  not  come."  ^  From  this  it  appears  that  Lautrec, 
the  Viceroy  of  Milan,  and  several  French  nobles  were 
being  entertained  at  Mantua  by  the  Marchesa,  whose 
policy  it  now  was  to  keep  on  good  terms  with  France, 
and  if  possible  to  detach  the  king  from  his  alliance 
with  the  Pope. 

Early  in  the  following  year,  Francesco  Maria 
made  a  gallant  attempt  to  recover  his  dominions,  at 
the  head  of  an  army  of  German,  Spanish  and  French 
mercenaries  which  had  been  disbanded  after  peace 
had  been  made  between  the  Emperor  Maximilian 
and  Venice.  During  eight  months  the  young  Duke 
and  his  wife's  valiant  cousin,  Federico  Gonzaga  of 
Bozzolo,  gallantly  opposed  the  papal  forces,  with 
Lorenzo  dei  Medici  and  Cardinal  Bibbiena  at  their 
head,  and  it  was  only  the  arrival  of  reinforcements, 
which  Francis  I.  reluctantly  sent  to  the  help  of  his 
ally,  that  at  length  compelled  them  to  abandon  the 
unequal  contest.  But  in  the  end  Leo  X.  was  forced 
to  grant  his  enemy  honourable  terms.  He  paid  the 
arrears  due  to  Francesco  Maria's  troops,  allowed  him 
to  take  his  guns  and  the  famous  library  of  Urbino  back 
to  Mantua,  and  promised  to  give  the  two  Duchesses 
their  dowries,  a  part  of  the  agreement  which  he 
never  performed.^  Meanwhile  Francesco  Maria  re- 
turned to  Mantua,  where  Elisabetta  and  Leonora 
had  been  anxiously  watching  the  result  of  his  brave 
struggle,  bringing  with  him  fifty-six  banners  as 
trophies  of  his  barren  victories  and  undoubted  proofs 
of  his  personal  prowess. 

*  D'Ancona,  Origini  del  Teatro,  ii. 

2  Dennistoun,  "Memoirs,"  vol.  ii. ;  Creighton,  " History  of  the 
Papacy,"  v.  278. 


In  April  1517,  Isabella  took  advantage  of  her 
sister  and  daughter's  presence  at  Mantua  to  leave 
her  sick  husband,  and  make  a  pilgrimage  to  the  shrine 
of  St.  Mary  IMagdalene  at  Sainte-Baume,  in  the  hills 
near  Marseilles.  After  paying  her  vows  at  this 
sanctuary,  the  Marchesa  visited  several  towns  in  the 
south  of  France,  and  went  as  far  north  as  Lyons. 
The  reduced  state  of  her  funds  compelled  her  to  travel 
incognita,  accompanied  only  by  a  small  suite,  among 
whom  were  Francesco  Gonzaga,  afterwards  ambas- 
sador in  Rome,  Castiglione's  brother-in-law,  Tommaso 
Strozzi,  and  Mario  Equicola.  The  last-named  scholar 
wrote  a  pedantic  account  of  this  journey,  more  with 
the  object  of  showing  his  learning  than  of  recording 
facts  of  interest.^  At  Avignon  he  recalls  the  residence 
of  the  Popes  and  memories  of  Petrarch  and  Laura,  at 
Marseilles  and  Aries  he  mingles  philosophical  reflec- 
tions with  historical  traditions,  and  only  here  and 
there  makes  some  brief  allusion  to  the  customs  of  the 
people.  One  day,  when  the  Marchesa  was  watching 
a  country  dance  of  the  peasants,  Mario  confesses  that, 
having  drunk  more  than  was  good  for  him,  he  not 
only  invited  a  peasant  maid  to  dance,  but  embraced 
her,  much  to  the  amusement  of  his  companions, 
after  which  he  retired  to  his  room  to  decipher  an 
ancient  inscription.^  But,  wherever  the  Marchesa 
went,  her  beauty  and  distinguished  air  attracted  the 
attention  of  the  French  ladies,  and  one  of  her  at- 
tendants, Giovanni  da  Cremona,  wrote  from  Lyons, 
on  the  4th  of  June,  to  tell  Federico  how  much  his 
mother  was  admired.  "Your  Excellency,"  he  writes, 
"  must  know  that,  whenever  Madama  is  seen  passing 

^  De  Isabella  Estensis  iter  in  Narbonensem  Galliam. 

2  F.  Santoro,  Iter  in  Narb.  Gall,  in  Giom.  St.  It.,  1 896 


through  the  streets,  all  the  men  and  women  in  every 
rank  of  life  rush  to  the  doors  and  windows,  or  stand 
still  in  the  road,  gazing  in  wonder  at  her  beautiful 
clothes  and  those  of  her  ladies.  Many  persons  here 
say  that  the  clothes  which  our  ladies  wear  are  much 
finer  than  any  you  see  in  France,  and  some  people 
have  told  me  that  they  could  hardly  beheve  Madama 
was  the  mother  of  Your  Excellency,  and  felt  sure 
she  must  be  your  sister."^  When  the  Marchesa  re- 
turned to  Mantua  in  July,  her  old  friend  Bernardo 
dei  Prosperi,  who  came  to  meet  her,  wrote  to  Ferrara 
that  she  had  grown  decidedly  thinner,  but  was  in 
radiant  health,  and  as  beautiful  as  she  had  been 
twelve  years  before.  A  fortnight  later,  on  the 
Feast  of  St.  Mary  Magdalene,  Isabella  and  Federico 
both  assisted  at  a  representation  of  scenes  from  the 
saint's  life,  given  by  some  friars  who  lived  in  a 
convent  outside  the  Porta  Pradella.  The  stage 
was  placed  against  the  outer  wall  of  the  church, 
and  opposite  a  spacious  wooden  tribunal  was  erected, 
partly  on  the  ground,  partly  in  the  waters  of  the 
lake,  which  bathe  the  city  walls.  But,  just  when 
the  audience  was  seated,  the  marshy  ground  gave 
way,  the  wooden  stand  broke  down,  and  the  Mar- 
chesa and  her  companions  were  suddenly  precipitated 
into  the  lake.  Isabella  herself  was  up  to  the  waist 
in  water,  Federico  dislocated  his  ankle,  and  many  of 
the  courtiers  and  ladies  suffered  severe  contusions. 
"  But,  thanks  to  God  and  the  Magdalene,"  remarks 
Isabella  in  a  lively  letter,  narrating  the  incident  to 
Antonia  del  Balzo,  "no  lives  were  lost.'" 

Soon  after   this,   a   marriage   was    arranged    be- 

1  Luzio  in  Nuova  Antologia,  1896. 

2  Luzio,  Emporium,  1900,  p.  435. 

BETROTHAL   OF   FEDERICO         135 

tween  Federico  and  Maria  Paleologa,  the  little 
eight-year-old  daughter  of  Guglielmo  II.,  Marquis 
of  Monferrato,  a  descendant  of  the  Emperors  who 
had  reigned  at  Constantinople  in  the  last  days  of 
the  Eastern  Empire.  The  two  famihes  had  long 
been  on  friendly  terms,  and  one  of  Isabella's  literary 
friends  and  constant  correspondents,  Galeotto  di  Car- 
reto,  lived  at  the  court  of  Casale.  The  marriage  was 
first  proposed  when  Federico  visited  Casale  on  his  re- 
turn from  France,and  in  October  1517, we  find  Isabella 
recommending  her  old  music  master,  Angela  Testa- 
grossa,  to  the  Marchioness  Anna  of  Monferrato,  as  an 
excellent  teacher  for  "  our  common  daughter  Maria," 
adding  that  she  herself  had  once  been  his  pupil,  and 
the  fault  was  not  his  if  she  did  him  httle  honour  I  ^ 
The  Marquis  of  Monferrato  died  in  the  following  year, 
leaving  a  little  boy  of  six  and  two  young  daughters 
to  the  care  of  their  excellent  mother,  a  princess  of 
the  house  of  Alen9on.  At  the  earnest  entreaty  of 
the  widowed  Marchioness,  Isabella  herself  paid  a 
visit  to  Casale  in  October  1518,  and  spent  two  days 
at  Milan  on  the  way.  Here  the  Milanese  courtiers 
and  ladies  hastened  to  pay  their  respects  to  the 
popular  Marchesa,  who  remarked  to  the  Dominican 
novelist  Bandello  that  she  had  never  seen  so  many 
fine  chariots  and  richly  adorned  equipages  before.^ 
On  her  return  in  November,  she  visited  Asti  and 
Genoa,  and  found  herself  eagerly  expected  at  Mantua 
by  her  kind  sister-in-law,  who  declared  that  she 
seemed  to  have  been  absent  a  thousand  years ! 

During   these    last   days   of  her   husband's   life, 
when  Isabella's  time  and  thoughts  were  chiefly  en- 

^  Davari,  Musica  in  Mantova.. 
2  Novelle,  pt.  i,  9, 


gaged  in  conducting  diplomatic  intrigues  which 
required  the  greatest  tact  and  delicacy,  she  had 
little  leisure  for  study  and  music,  and  neither  time 
nor  money  to  devote  to  the  decoration  of  her  rooms 
and  the  acquisition  of  new  treasures.  But  here  and 
there  we  catch  an  occasional  glimpse  of  her  private  life 
which  shows  that  her  tastes  and  habits  remained  the 
same.  After  her  return  from  Rome,  she  applied 
herself  with  fresh  ardour  to  her  Latin  studies,  under 
the  tuition  of  Equicola.  In  March  1516,  we  find  her 
old  servant,  Jacopo  d'Atri,  writing  from  Naples,  to 
beg  she  will  send  him  the  first  Latin  work  of  her  com- 
position. Mario,  however,  was  absent  at  the  time, 
having  been  sent  to  offer  the  young  King  Charles 
of  Spain  the  Marchesa's  condolence  on  the  death  of 
his  grandfather  Ferdinand.  Later  in  the  summer, 
he  was  detained  at  Ferrara  by  Alfonso  d'Este,  who 
employed  him  to  compose  the  historic  with  which  the 
painters  were  to  decorate  his  rooms,  and  Isabella 
wrote  repeatedly  from  Porto,  begging  him  to  hasten 
his  return,  as  she  was  alone  and  required  help  in  her 
studies.  Equicola,  however,  put  off  his  return  from 
day  to  day,  and  at  length,  on  the  21st  of  September, 
she  laughingly  declared  that  she  had  given  up  all 
hopes  of  ever  seeing  him  again,  but  warned  him  that, 
if  he  did  come,  she  intended  to  make  him  work  so  hard 
that  he  would  soon  give  up  the  ghost !  Meanwhile, 
her  beautiful  palaces,  with  their  priceless  collection 
of  paintings  and  antiques,  excited  the  admiration  of 
all  visitors  to  Mantua. 

In  November  1515  the  Venetian  ambassadors, 
Zuan  and  Alvise  Contarini,  spent  two  days  at  Mantua 
on  their  way  to  Milan.  A  Venetian  patrician  in 
their  suite,  Ser  Piero  Soranzo,  describes   how  they 


arrived  by  boat  late  one  winter  evening,  and  were 
conducted  by  torchlight  into  the  richly  perfumed  and 
sumptuously  furnished  rooms  usually  occupied  by  the 
young  lord  Federico.  Here  a  dainty  supper,  con- 
sisting of  infinite  varieties  of  fish,  eggs,  tarts,  con- 
fetti, together  with  eight  different  sorts  of  wine,  was 
served,  to  the  sound  of  exquisite  singing  and  instru- 
mental music.  On  the  following  morning,  after 
attending  high  mass  and  hearing  some  fine  organ 
music,  the  envoys  visited  the  palace  ,of  S.  Sebas- 
tiano,  and  admired  the  magnificent  series  of  Triumphs 
painted  by  the  hand  of  Mantegna.  After  this,  they 
were  ushered  into  another  suite  of  apartments,  where 
the  same  odour  of  rich  perfumes  met  them  on  the 
threshold.  Here  they  found  the  Marquis  reclining 
on  a  couch  by  the  hearth  of  a  richly  adorned  room, 
with  his  pet  dwarf  clad  in  gold  brocade,  and  three 
superb  greyhounds  lying  at  his  feet.  Three  pages 
stood  by,  waving  large  fans,  lest  even  a  hair  should 
fall  upon  him ;  a  quantity  of  falcons  and  hawks  in 
leash  were  in  the  room,  and  the  walls  were  hung 
with  pictures  of  favourite  dogs  and  horses.  Fran- 
cesco received  the  envoys  graciously,  and  gave  orders 
that  they  should  be  shown  the  other  halls  of  the 
palace,  containing  Costa's  recently  painted  frescoes 
and  many  fine  portraits  of  his  family  and  friends. 
The  beauty  and  extent  of  the  gardens  and  the 
magnificent  view  from  the  Loggia  greatly  impressed 
the  visitors,  as  well  as  the  gorgeous  dinner  service 
of  wrought  silver.  In  the  afternoon  they  saw 
Cardinal  Sigismondo,  and  visited  the  Castello, 
"  another  fine  palace  belonging  to  the  Marchesana," 
writes  Soranzo,  "more  beautiful  than  all  the  rest, 
and  full  of  lovely  maidens.     We  saw  the  Armoury 


of  the  Marquis,  which  is  worthy  to  be  compared  with 
the  Halls  of  the  Council  of  Ten,  and  a  cabinet 
containing  jewels  and  plate  of  priceless  value,  and 
the  Grotta  in  which  the  Marchesa  has  collected  an 
infinite  number  of  rare  and  beautiful  things."  Un- 
fortunately Isabella  herself  was  suffering  from  an 
attack  of  fever  and  could  not  receive  her  guests, 
but  sent  orders  that  they  should  be  courteously 
entertained  and  shown  all  her  treasures.  Finally, 
the  Venetians  were  taken  to  see  the  stables  on  tlie 
Piazza  of  the  T^,  outside  the  walls,  and  admired 
150  splendid  chargers  belonging  to  Francesco's  famous 
breed  of  Barbary  horses.  Then  another  supper  of 
choicest  viands  and  sweetmeats  was  set  before  the 
tired  travellers,  after  which  Marchetto  sang  certain 
songs  to  the  lute  "  so  admirably  that  you  could  desire 
nothing  better."  ^ 

In  the  following  March,  Isabella  received  a  visit 
from  her  old  friend  Trissino,  who  stopped  at  Mantua 
on  his  way  back  from  a  papal  mission  to  Innsbruck, 
to  repay  a  loan  of  400  ducats  which  the  Marchesa 
had  generously  advanced  some  months  before.  In 
return  for  this  timely  help,  the  papal  nuncio  gave 
the  Marchesa  valuable  information  of  a  secret  agree- 
ment which  had  been  made  between  Pope  Leo  and 
the  Emperor  Maximilian.  Isabella  wrote  without 
delay  to  warn  her  brother  Alfonso  to  be  prepared 
for  all  emergencies,  since  this  treaty  between  the 
Pope  and  Csesar  might  be  fraught  with  the  gravest 
peril  to  his  state  and  person.^ 

A  few  weeks  later,  the  Marchesa  received  another 
guest  in  the  person  of  the  Milanese  sculptor  Cristoforo 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxi.  280-282. 
'  B.  Morsolin,  G.  G.  Trissino. 


Solari,  surnamed  "il  Gobbo,"  who  had  carved  the 
beautiful  effigies  on  the  tombs  of  her  sister  Beatrice 
and  Lodovico  Moro.  This  excellent  master  now 
came  from  Ferrara  with  a  letter  of  recommendation 
from  Duke  Alfonso,  begging  his  sister  to  show 
him  her  paintings  and  antiquities.  Isabella  gladly 
complied  with  this  request,  and  took  occasion  of 
Cristoforo's  visit  to  beg  him  to  undertake  a  new 
work.  After  prolonged  delays,  the  sculptor  agreed 
to  design  a  magnificent  fountain  for  the  gardens  of 
her  favourite  villa  of  Porto,  and  promised  to  carve  all 
the  finer  reliefs  and  ornamental  details  with  his  own 
hand,  while  two  assistants  were  employed  to  execute 
the  rest  of  the  work.  But  Cristoforo  died  of  the 
plague  before  the  fountain  was  finished,  and  a  long 
correspondence  with  his  sons  ensued.  Eventually, 
after  the  Marchesa's  return  from  Rome  in  1527, 
the  marbles  which  "il  Gobbo"'  had  prepared  and 
the  reliefs  which  he  had  carved  were  delivered  to 
his  son  and  another  Pavian  sculptor  of  repute,  who 
executed  the  work  from  designs  left  by  the  dead 

One  old  friend  for  whom  the  Marchesa  retained 
the  most  profound  respect  and  esteem  was  Fra 
Francesco  da  Ferrara,  the  distinguished  Vicar- 
General  of  the  Dominican  Order.  On  her  journey 
to  Rome  in  January  1515,  she  had  succeeded  in 
obtaining  an  edict  from  Pope  Leo  X.  pronouncing 
the  beatification  of  their  mutual  friend,  Osanna 
degU  Andreasi ;  and,  as  she  wrote  to  the  Frate,  was 
determined  never  to  relax  her  efforts  until  she  could 
obtain  the  canonisation  "  of  this  our  dear  mother." 
Meanwhile  she  constantly  urged  Fra  Francesco  to 

1  A,  Bertolotti,  Artistic  1885  ;  Luzio,  Arch.  St.  Lomb,,  1891,  175. 


pay  her  a  visit.  Unfortunately,  when  at  length,  in  May 
1516,  he  came  to  Mantua,  on  his  way  to  assume  the 
office  of  Prior  of  his  Order  at  Ferrara,  Isabella  was 
at  Borgoforte,  anxiously  expecting  the  arrival  of  the 
fugitives  from  Urbino.  But  at  her  wish  the  good 
Prior  spent  a  day  at  Porto,  and  wrote  a  letter  in 
which  expressions  of  admiration  for  her  beautiful 
country  house  are  mingled  with  regrets  at  being 
compelled  to  leave  his  beloved  books  and  assume  an 
office  that  was  especially  distasteful  to  his  studious 

"Your  Excellency,"  he  writes,  "may  imagine 
how  much  pleasure  I  have  in  seeing  this  fair  palace 
of  Porto,  where,  thanks  to  you,  I  have  been  received 
with  the  greatest  kindness.  The  palace  and  gardens 
are  indeed  most  charming,  and  seem  to  me  laid  out 
with  the  greatest  skill  by  Your  Highness.  But  the 
bitterness  of  my  own  thoughts  prevents  me  from  fully 
enjoying  these  rare  delights.  I  thank  Your  High- 
ness once  more  for  your  kindness  in  allowing  me  to 
see  this  delicious  spot.  Another  time,  when  I  am  in 
a  happier  frame  of  mind,  I  shall  hope  to  return  here 
and  look  with  greater  attention  at  this  house,  with  its 
gardens  and  lovely  surroundings.  But  you  know 
how  much  I  dislike  the  management  of  friars,  and 
now,  just  when  I  had  hoped  to  return  to  Milan,  I  am 
compelled,  in  spite  of  all  my  protests,  to  bow  my 
head  and  go  to  be  Prior  at  Ferrara."^ 

Another  Dominican  friar  of  a  very  diffi^rent  type, 
Matteo  Bandello,  the  novelist,  was  often  at  Mantua 
during  the  last  years  of  Francesco  Gonzaga's  reign, 
and  enjoyed  the  favour  of  Isabella  in  a  marked  degree. 
As  a  novice  in  the  Moro's  favourite  convent  of  S. 

1  Luzio  e  Renter,  Giom.  St.  d.  Lett.  It.,  1900. 


Maria  delle  Grazie,  he  had  watched  Leonardo  at 
work  on  his  great  painting  in  the  refectory,  and 
had  seen  the  young  Duchess  Beatrice  borne  to 
the  grave  amid  the  tears  and  lamentations  of  all 
JSIilan.  He  was  a  well-known  figure  in  the  house  of 
Ippohta  Sforza,  the  wife  of  Alessandro  Bentivoglio, 
and  told  stories  under  the  green  pergola  of  her 
garden,  or  conversed  with  "these  two  bright  stars 
of  Milanese  society,  Cecilia  Gallerani  and  Camilla 
Scarampa."  There  he  met  the  Marchesa  Isabella 
on  her  visits  to  Milan,  and  was  often  sent  to 
Mantua  with  letters  from  his  learned  Superior,  Prior 
Francesco.  Between  1516  and  1519,  Bandello  seems 
to  have  lived  chiefly  at  the  Dominican  convent  of 
Mantua,  and  was  admitted  into  the  innermost  circle 
of  the  Marchesa's  friends.  The  Hvely  friar's  wit  and 
brilliancy  and  his  rare  gift  of  story-teUing  made  him 
a  welcome  guest  at  the  Httle  dinners  and  suppers, 
where  Isabella  loved  to  collect  poets  and  humanists 
on  the  breezy  heights  of  Cavriana  or  under  the  cool 
shades  of  Porto.  "  It  was  my  habit,"  he  writes  in 
the  dedication  of  one  of  his  stories  to  Pirro  Gon- 
zaga  of  Gazzuolo,  "  during  the  summer  months  when 
I  Hved  at  Mantua,  to  go  two  or  three  times  a 
week  to  pay  my  respects  to  Madama  Isabella  da 
Este,  Marchesa  di  Mantova,  in  her  most  delightful 
palace  of  Porto,  and  spend  the  whole  day  discussing 
various  subjects  with  her  lords  and  ladies,  some- 
times before  Her  Excellency,  sometimes  among 
ourselves."  ^ 

There,  he  tells  us,  as  the  company  sat  in  these 
cool  and  spacious  halls,  with  the  murmur  of  running 
waters  falling  pleasantly  on  the  ear,  Madama  bade 

1  Nmelle,  pt.  i.  30. 


him  tuke  up  I>ivy  and  read  the  story  of  Tarquin  and 
of  the  death  of  Lucrezia.  "  For  she,  as  you  are 
aware,"  he  says,  addressing  his  beloved  pupil,  Luc- 
rezia Gonzaga,  the  daughter  of  Pirro  Gonzaga  of 
Bozzolo,  and  grand-daughter  of  Isabella's  half-sister, 
Lucrezia  Bentivoglio,  **  knows  the  whole  of  Roman 
history  perfectly.  I  obeyed  her  commands,  and 
when  I  had  finished  we  sat  down  to  dinner,  and 
afterwards  discussion  arose  between  M.  Benedetto 
Capilupi  and  Mario  Equicola  regarding  the  subject 
of  the  book.  M.  Benedetto  praised  Lucrezia  highly, 
but  Mario,  on  the  other  hand,  declared  that  she  must 
have  been  mad  to  kill  herself.  While  these  two  were 
still  disputing,  that  noble  and  learned  cavalier,  Count 
Baldassarre  Castiglione,  suddenly  arrived.  Madama 
told  him  Avhat  I  had  been  reading,  and  the  discussion 
which  had  arisen,  adding  gaily  that  she  saw  Bandello 
was  on  the  point  of  going  to  the  sacristy  and  referring 
the  disputants  to  St.  Augustine's  remarks  on  the 
subject  in  his  book  of  '  City  of  God.'  '  But  now  you 
have  come,'  she  added  with  her  gracious  smile,  '  and 
are  to  settle  the  quarrel.  So  I  beg  of  you  to  give 
your  opinion.'  Castiglione  tried  to  excuse  himself, 
but  the  most  excellent  Madama  insisted  that  he  should 
enter  the  arena.  So  he  told  the  whole  story,  and 
summed  up  in  praise  of  the  most  chaste  Lucrezia's 
act,  as  you  will  read  in  this  Novella,  which  I  cannot 
do  better  than  offer  to  you,  knowing  that  all  I  write 
is  dear  to  you,  although,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  in  this 
instance  I  simply  relate  the  story  as  it  was  told  by 
the  gentle,  learned,  and  eloquent  Castiglione."  * 
Another  evening,  when  her  secretary,  Benedetto 
Capilupi,  had  told  a  pleasant  tale  as  the  Marchess 

1  Pt  u.  21 

IN   THE   VILLA  143 

and  her  ladies  were  walking  among  the  cypress  and 
orange  gi'oves  of  the  terraced  gardens,  Madama  her- 
self turned  to  the  friar,  and  said:  "Bandello,  this 
story  is  one  which  would  come  in  well  among  the 
Novelle  which  you  are  writing  every  day."  ^  Again, 
one  hot  July  afternoon,  when  the  dog-days  had  set 
in  and  not  a  breath  of  air  stirred  the  leaves  of  the 
trees,  the  Marchesa  and  her  ladies  retired  to  take  an 
hour  s  rest  in  her  rooms  on  the  upper  floor.  That  day 
Bandello's  especial  patron,  Pirro  Gonzaga  of  Gazzuolo, 
the  youngest  of  Antonia  del  Balzo's  sons,  was 
at  Porto,  having  been  asked  by  Isabella  to  meet 
his  cousin,  Alessandro,  the  son  of  Giovanni  Gonzaga, 
with  whom  he  had  been  on  bad  terms,  and  who  was 
now  reconciled  to  him  by  the  Marchesa's  intervention. 
*'  Now  that  Madama  has  left  us,"  said  Pirro,  "  let  us 
go  and  seek  fresh  air  in  the  loggia  in  the  gardens, 
and  pass  the  time  till  our  Madama  returns."  The 
other  guests  gladly  followed  his  suggestion,  and  were 
on  their  way  to  the  loggia  when  Alessandro  Baesso, 
Isabella's  seneschal  or  "  companion  of  honour,"  a  man 
"old  in  years,  but  singularly  merry  in  disposition," 
suddenly  arrived  from  the  palace  of  S.  Sebastiano, 
where  he  was  staying  with  the  Marquis.  This  very 
lively  and  agreeable  person,  as  Bandello  calls  him, 
was  joyously  welcomed  by  the  whole  company,  and 
amused  them  as  they  sat  in  the  loggia  by  repeating  a 
story  which  the  Marquis  had  told  him  of  a  Mantuan 
lady's  intrigues  with  two  brothers,  until  the  barking 
of  Madama's  pet  dogs  on  the  stairs  announced  her 

Sometimes  the  scene  changes  and  we  find  our- 
selves on  a  winter  day  in  the  Marchesa's  rooms  in  the 

1  Pt.  iv.  3. 


Castello.  Madama  sits  by  the  fire,  and  Bandello 
brings  her  the  latest  news  from  Milan,  and  they  talk 
over  the  business  on  which  she  had  sent  him.  Then 
the  principal  courtiers  and  chief  ladies  of  Mantua 
drop  in  one  by  one  to  pay  their  respects  to  Her 
Excellency,  and  Costantino  Pio  tells  the  company 
of  a  silly  wrangle  between  the  Cavaliere  Soardo  and 
the  doctor  Maestro  Tommaso.  Upon  which  Isabella 
starts  a  discussion  on  the  distinction  between  wit  and 
folly,  between  clever  nonsense  and  vulgar  jests. 
Every  one  has  some  instance  to  give,  some  witty 
saying  or  foolish  speech  to  recall,  and  Bandello  wins 
the  prize  by  relating  an  epigram  made  by  Marc 
Antonio  Colonna,  on  the  little  mule  which  carried 
Lautrec  and  his  fortunes.  The  whole  scene  gives  a 
curious  and  animated  picture  of  the  society  and 
manners  of  the  age.^  Elsewhere  Bandello  repeats 
the  stories  which  he  told  the  Marquis  walking  in  his 
gardens  at  the  palace  of  S.  Sebastiano,  or  in  the  halls 
adorned  with  Mantegna's  glorious  Triumphs,  one 
day  when  Luigi  Gonzaga  of  Borgoforte,  Tommaso 
Strozzi,  and  Madama  were  all  present.  In  a  tale 
dedicated  to  Isabella's  librarian,  Gian  Giacomo  Cal- 
andra,  he  recalls  how,  in  order  to  escape  from  the 
intense  heat  caused  at  Mantua  last  summer  by  the 
drying  up  of  the  waters,  that  glorious  lady,  Isabella 
da  Este,  Marchesa  di  Mantova,  retired  to  her  pleasant 
country  house  on  the  heights  of  Cavriana,  where 
the  air  is  always  fresh  and  the  halls  are  always 
cool,  and  amused  herself  after  her  usual  custom  in 
reading  and  conversation,  in  singing  and  playing 
herself,  and  listening  to  the  most  delicious  music.^ 
Or,  again,  we  find  ourselves  at  the  stately  villa  of 

1  Pt.  i.  48.  2  Pt.  ii.  5. 


Marmirolo,  in  the  presence  of  the  INIarchesa  and 
the  two  Duchesses  of  Urbino,  Hstening  to  the  learned 
Venetian  patrician  and  Hbrarian  of  San  Marco,  Andrea 
Navagero,  the  friend  of  Raphael  and  Bembo,  who,  in 
the  presence  of  this  august  company,  relates  the  last 
strange  story  which  has  come  from  Rome.^  *'  During 
these  days,"  writes  Bandello,  "that  incomparable 
lady,  Elisabetta  Gonzaga,  the  widow  of  Duke  Guido- 
baldo  of  blessed  memory,  being  ill,  I  went  to  visit  her, 
and  found  her  constant  companion  and  sister-in-law, 
Madama  Emilia  Pia,  sitting  with  her.  And  as  we  sat 
together,  talking  of  many  things,  there  arrived  that 
learned  and  most  noble  patrician  of  Vicenza,  Gian 
Giacomo  Trissino,  bringing  a  letter  from  Signora 
Margherita  Pia  di  San  Severino  to  her  sister  Emilia. 
He  was  most  graciously  received  by  the  Duchess, 
and  the  conversation  turned  upon  the  tyranny  and 
cruelty  exercised  by  Cesare  Borgia  in  Romagna  and 
La  INIarca  long  ago.  As  we  spoke  of  these  things, 
the  poor  Duchess  could  scarcely  restrain  her  tears, 
remembering  the  cruelty  of  Borgia"  to  one  of  her 
ladies,  whom  he  surprised  and  captured  on  her 
wedding  journey  to  Ravenna,  slaying  her  attendants 
before  her  eyes.  And  many  more  things  were 
said  of  the  enormities  committed  by  the  said 
Cesare  Borgia,  Duca  Valentino,  who  not  only  killed 
his  foes  and  strangers,  but  slew  his  own  brother. 
Then  Messer  Gian  Giorgio  told  us  a  tale  of  another 
cruel  tyrant,  Eccelino  Romano  of  Verona,  which 
Madonna  Emilia  begged  me  to  record."  ^ 

To  Emilia  herself  Fra  Matteo  dedicated  a  tale 
which  he  told  at  the  house  of  Castiglione,  where,  in 
August  1517,  his  wife,  the  fair  and  virtuous  lady 

1  Pt.  iii.  46.  2  pt.  iv.  12. 

VOL.  II.  K 

146      THE   PO   AND   MINCIO   FROZEN 

Ippolita  Torelli,  gave  birth  to  her  first-born  son 
Camillo.  Emilia  was  there  that  day  in  waiting  on 
the  Duchess  Ehsabetta,  who  came  with  all  the  noble 
lords  and  ladies  in  Mantua  to  offer  the  Count  their 
congratulations  on  this  happy  event,  but  since  she 
had  to  leave  suddenly,  she  lost  part  of  the  story, 
which  Bandello  accordingly  sends  her,  knowing  her 
delight  in  any  new  tale  and  the  pleasure  she  has 
always  taken  in  reading  his  little  things.  And  in  a 
postscript  he  adds  that  a  fortnight  ago  he  received  a 
letter  from  her  sister,  Margherita  di  San  Severino, 
who  is  very  well.^ 

In  another  story,  told  by  one  of  Cardinal  Sigis- 
mondo's  secretaries  to  Isabella  and  her  guests  at 
Porto,  the  novelist  recalls  the  rigours  of  the  past 
winter,  when  the  limpid  lake  which  encircles  the  city 
was  turned  into  crystalline  ice,  and  not  only  the 
river  Mincio,  "  which  flows  joyously  through  our  fair 
meadows,"  was  entirely  frozen  over,  but  even  the 
broad  waters  of  the  Po  were  blocked  with  ice,  so 
that  all  navigation  was  stopped,  and  our  "  excellent 
Madama  crossed  the  frozen  waters  on  foot,  from 
Borgoforte  to  the  opposite  shore,  accompanied  by  all 
her  gentlemen  and  most  of  her  lovely  maidens."  It 
was  indeed  a  terrible  winter.  The  country  was  over- 
run by  the  Venetian  and  French  troops,  who  were  at 
war  with  Maximihan ;  many  towns  in  Mantuan 
territory  were  sacked  and  burned,  and  since  it  was 
impossible  to  bring  provisions  from  the  farms  on  the 
banks  of  the  Po,  there  was  no  hay  or  corn  for  the 
horses,  and  a  great  famine  arose.^ 

In  sharp  contrast  to  these  winter  scenes  is  the 
vivid  picture  which  Bandello  gives  us  of  the  radiant 

1  Pt.  i.  33.  2  pt_  i,  16. 


Midsummer's  day  in  1518,  when  the  fair  Camilla 
Gonzaga,  the  youngest  of  Antonia  del  Balzo's 
daughters,  gave  her  hand  in  marriage  to  the  great 
Neapolitan  baron,  the  Marchese  Tripalda.  The 
bride  herself  had  written  to  bid  him  to  the  wedding, 
and  her  venerable  mother  had  added  five  hnes  in  her 
own  hand,  refusing  to  accept  any  excuse.  Both  her 
gallant  brother,  Federico  di  Bozzolo,  the  hero  of  the 
Urbino  wars,  and  Pirro,  his  own  dear  lord,  had 
threatened  him  with  the  complete  and  instant  loss 
of  their  favour  if  he  did  not  come.  At  length,  moved 
by  these  threats  and  compelled  by  the  duty  which  he 
owed  to  the  noble  house  of  Gonzaga,  the  friar  made 
his  way  to  Casalmaggiore,  Madonna  Antonia's  fair 
palace  in  the  district  of  Cremona,  where  the  mar- 
riage took  place.  Then  it  was,  in  the  midst  of  the 
music  and  dancing,  and  the  games  and  tricks  of  the 
most  comical  clowns  and  buffoons,  that  Madonna 
Antonia  rose,  and  beckoning  to  the  bride  and  her 
son  Pirro  to  follow  her,  took  Bandello's  hand  and 
led  him  into  a  hall  on  the  ground]  floor,  paved  with 
marble  and  marvellously  cool.  "  I  have  brought  you 
here,"  the  honoured  lady  said,  with  her  gracious 
smile,  "not  only  because  of  the  great  heat,  but  in 
order  to  escape  from  the  crowds  outside  and  to  spend 
the  noonday  hour  in  pleasant  talk.  Now!  let  any 
one  who  has  a  fine  story  to  tell,  begin  I "  All  the 
guests  present  hailed  this  as  an  excellent  idea,  and 
Pirro  asked  a  Burgundian  gentleman,  Edmond 
Orflec,  to  begin,  and  he  told  a  sad  story  of  two 
faithful  lovers  doomed  to  death  by  a  jealous  Duchess 
of  Burgundy,  which  brought  tears  to  aU  eyes. 
So  the  time  passed  pleasantly  away,  till  the  sun 
began  to  sink  in  the  western  sky  and  the  evening 

148       THE   GONZAGAS   OF   BOZZOLO 

breeze  gently  stirred  the  leaves  with  its  refreshing 

These  Gonzagas  of  Bozzolo  were  Bandello's  most 
generous  patrons,  and  Isabella's  loyal  friends.  There 
was  Madonna  Antonia  herself,  who  had  already  seen 
upwards  of  seventy  years  and  was  yet  as  young  and 
lively  as  ever,  known  and  loved  as  "the  mother  of 
all,"  adored  not  only  by  her  own  large  family,  but 
by  all  the  subjects  of  her  little  province.  And  there 
were  her  gallant  sons,  Lodovico,  Federico,  and  Pirro, 
who  were  always  absent  in  the  wars,  but  had  their 
palace  in  Mantua  and  their  finely  situated  castle  of 
Gazzuolo  on  the  steep  banks  of  the  river  Oglio. 
There  were  her  beautiful  daughters,  most  of  them 
already  married  to  Milanese  or  Mantuan  lords,  saving 
this  youngest  and  fairest  of  all,  the  bright-eyed 
Camilla,  whose  fair  young  face  and  divine  voice  made 
her  so  great  a  favourite  with  the  Marchesa  Isabella. 
And  there  were  her  grandchildren  growing  up  around 
her — Luigi  Rodomonte,  whose  giant  stature  and  heroic 
mould  were  celebrated  by  Ariosto  in  immortal  verse, 
and  his  sister  Giulia,  whose  surpassing  beauty  was 
soon  to  become  famous  throughout  Italy.  All  these 
find  a  place  in  the  novelist's  pages,  all  these  and 
many  other  well-known  figures  at  Isabella's  court — 
the  gay  maids-of-honour,  who,  we  can  well  believe, 
read  Bandello's  stories  very  willingly,  and  aU  the 
distinguished  humanists  to  whom  Paolo  Giovio  gave 
the  name  of  the  Accademia  di  S.  Pietro,  from  the 
piazza  on  which  the  Castello  stood.  There,  to  quote 
Bandello's  words,  we  find  the  polished  and  scholarly 
librarian,  Gian  Giacomo  Calandra,  whose  name  lives 

the    learned    and    industrious 

^  Pt  iv.  5.  2  Orlando  Furioso,  xlii.  85. 


Mario  Eqiiicola,  who  assisted  the  Marchesa  in  her 
studies ;  the  gentle  and  cultured  Aldo  Manuzio  ;  the 
accomplished  poet,  Paride  da  Ceresara,  "  a  man  after 
the  heart  of  Terence,  qui  nihil  humani  a  se  alienum 
putat.'^  There  was  the  saintly  and  refined  Dominican 
scholar,  Fra  Francesco,  and  the  learned  philosopher, 
Pomponazzi,  who  went  by  the  name  of  Peretto,  and 
was  so  Jewish  in  appearance  that  he  was  often  hooted 
and  pelted  with  stones  by  the  street-boys.^  There  was 
merry  INIesser  Giuho  Olduino,  too,  who  told  a  gay 
tale  in  Bandello's  hearing,  when  he  was  spending 
carnival  with  his  mistress  at  the  Duke  of  Milan's 
court,  httle  knowing  how  soon  he  was  to  fall  into 
disgrace,  and  the  novelist,  Strascino,  who  spent  a  day 
at  Porto  on  his  way  to  Rome,  and  repeated  Dante's 
tale  of  Pia  dei  Tolomei.  There  was  the  Marquis 
Francesco,  in  these  last  years  of  his  life  tied  to  a 
sick-bed,  but  still  loving  to  recall  the  adventures  of 
his  youth  and  keenly  enjoying  a  rough  jest  or  prac- 
tical joke ;  there  was  his  brother  Giovanni,  "  as 
honest  and  sensible  a  man  as  ever  lived,"  and  his 
spendthrift  son,  the  gambler  and  fighter,  Alessandro, 
and  many  other  valiant  captains  and  nobles,  Visconti, 
Pallavicini,  Bentivogli,  and  those  gallant  San  Severini 
brothers,  who  claimed  the  friar's  especial  allegiance,  as 
a  race  of  heroes  sprung  from  his  own  native  city  of 
Castelnovo  in  the  Tortonese.^ 

And  among  them  all,  the  leader  and  centre  of 
that  brilliant  company,  was  Isabella  herself,  welcom- 
ing the  stranger  kindly,  smiling  graciously  on  the 
last  speaker,  suggesting  new  subjects  for  discussion, 
and  bringing  her  own  lively  wit,  her  own  wide  know- 
ledge and  wisdom  to  add  to  the  general  store.     To 

1  Pt  iii.  S8.  2  Pt.  iv.  3. 


her  Bandello  dedicated  his  tragic  tale  of  the  love  and 
crimes  of  the  Milanese  Contessa  di  Cellani,  whom 
Isabella  had  formerly  met  in  IppoUta  Sforza  and 
Ceciha  Gallerani's  houses  at  Milan,  and  whose  conduct 
she  had  gravely  discussed  with  Matteo  at  Porto.^ 

Isabella,  on  her  part,  felt  genuine  regard  for  the 
lively  friar,  and  valued  him  not  only  for  his  brilliant 
gifts  and  genial  temper,  but  for  his  loyalty  and  faith- 
fulness. She  employed  him  on  errands  to  Milan  and 
trusted  him  with  difficult  and  delicate  negotiations. 
On  New  Year's  Day  1517,  she  sent  a  Hymn  on  the 
Nativity,  which  Bandello  had  composed,  to  Duchess 
EHsabetta,  begging  her  to  accept  it,  since  she  had 
nothing  else  to  give  her  on  this  festival,  and  knows 
that  it  will  please  her  as  much  as  anything  which 
she  has  seen  for  many  a  long  day.^  In  April  1518, 
she  gave  the  friar  the  following  written  testimonial, 
addressed  to  the  Vicar-General  of  the  Dominicans,  in 
which  she  refutes  certain  charges  which  had  been 
brought  against  Bandello's  character  and  bears  wit- 
ness to  the  excellence  of  his  conduct  during  the 
years  which  he  had  spent  in  the  Dominican  convent 
at  Mantua. 

"  To  the    Vicar    and    Friars   of   the    Order    of 
Preachers : — 

"  Reverend  Father  and  Friends  in  Christ, — 
The  virtues  and  excellent  qualities  of  the  vener 
able  Friar  Matteo  Bandello,  and  the  religious  and 
modest  life  which  he  has  always  led  in  this 
our  city,  while  he  has  been  in  your  convent  of  S. 
Domenico,  are  so  well  known,  that  we  and  all 
persons   of    worth  and  good   judgment  must   ever 

»  Pt.  i.  7. 

'  Luzio  e  Renier  in  Giom.  St.  d.  L.,  v.  Si. 


praise  and  commend  him.  But  since  we  hear  that 
you  have  received  other  accounts,  which  are  utterly 
false,  we  should  fail  in  our  duty  if  we  did  not  bear 
witness  to  the  good  conduct  of  the  said  Friar 
Matteo,  which  deserves  the  highest  commendation. 
We  therefore  pray  you.  Reverend  Fathers,  to  dis- 
miss any  bad  opinions  about  him  which  you  may 
have  formed,  if  indeed  this  is  true,  which  we  on  our 
part  greatly  doubt,  and  we  heartily  pray  you  to  hold 
him  dear,  and  to  honour  him  as  his  infinite  virtues 
deserve.  This  will  not  only  be  a  just  and  worthy 
thing  in  itself,  but  will  give  us  the  greatest  pleasure."^ 
Mantua,  April  15,  1518. 

Soon  after  this  curious  testimony  to  his  moral 
character,  Bandello  went  back  to  Milan,  and  did 
not  return  to  Mantua  until  after  the  Marquis 
Francesco's  death. 

At  the  request  of  his  friends  he  composed 
a  Latin  oration  in  memory  of  this  prince, 
which  he  sent  to  his  son  and  successor  on  the 
anniversary  of  Francesco's  death,  and  afterwards 
delivered  before  Federico  and  his  whole  court. 
But  in  the  following  letter,  which  he  sent  to  the 
Marchesa,  he  showed  his  discrimination  by  omitting 
any  allusion  to  her  dead  lord's  virtues,  and  contented 
himself  with  expressions  of  sympathy  in  her  loss, 
and  of  high  hopes  for  her  son's  success  and  pros- 
perity. Isabella  herself,  we  can  well  beHeve, 
cordially  shared  Bandello's  sentiments  as  to  the 
weariness  of  reading  endless  letters  of  condolence,  in 
which  the  same  exaggerated  praises  and  conven- 
tional expressions  were  reiterated  ad  nauseam, 

"  Most  illustrious  and  honoured  Mistress, — I  think 

1  Luzio,  Precettori,  p.  46- 


that  by  this  time  you  will  have  had  so  many  letters 
of  condolence  on  the  death  of  your  illustrious  lord, 
not  only  from  all  parts  of  Italy,  but  from  the  whole 
of  Europe,  that  you  will  be  quite  tired  of  reading 
them,  besides  which  every  letter  of  this  kind  helps 
to  renew  our  grief  and  open  our  wounds  afresh. 
But,  as  your  loyal  servant,  I  am  in  duty  bound,  at 
the  risk  of  seeming  indiscreet,  to  condole  with  you, 
which  I  would  do  from  my  heart  were  I  writing  to  a 
lady  who  shared  the  weakness  common  to  ordinary 
women.  But  when  I  remember  that  Your  High- 
ness, besides  being  blest  with  all  the  excellent  gifts 
and  virtues  which  render  her  supreme  among  women, 
is  so  rarely  endowed  by  nature  that  she  can  find 
better  medicine  for  this  sorrow  than  a  thousand 
letters  can  prescribe,  I  feel  I  need  say  no  more. 
Enough  that  Your  Highness  knows  that  I  am  her 
servant,  and  grieve  over  her  sorrows  as  every  faith- 
ful servant  must  grieve  for  the  losses  which  befall 
his  master.  And  I  cannot  fail  to  add  that  your 
sorrow  must  be  diminished  by  the  great  expectation 
that  we  all  entertain  of  the  present  illustrious  Mar- 
quis, your  son.  For  we  all  hope  that  he,  being  what 
he  is,  and  always  has  been,  and  being  also  governed 
by  Your  Highness,  must  prove  worthy  of  the  blood 
which  flows  in  his  veins.  May  God  long  preserve 
Your  Highness  in  health  and  happiness. — Of  Your 
Illustrious  Excellency  the  most  obedient  servant, 
Era  Matteo  Bandello."  ^ 

The  clever  friar  succeeded  in  retaining  the  favour 
of  the  new  Marquis,  who  rendered  him  important 
services  at  Rome  in  days  to  come.  And  when  many 
years  afterwards,  in  the  house  of  his  patron,  Fregoso, 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Giorn.  St.  d.  Lett.,  v.  34. 


he  was  entrusted  with  the  education  of  Pirro  and 
Camilla  Gonzaga's  orphan  daughter,  Lucrezia,  he 
often  recalled  the  joyous  days  which  he  had  spent 
in  Mantua,  and  caused  the  memory  of  the  Marchesa 
and  her  friends  to  live  again  in  his  immortal  pages. 



Death  of  the  Emperor  Maximilian — Of  the  Marquis  Francesco 
Gonzaga — His  death-bed  and  funeral — Proclamation  of  his 
son  Federico  —  Death  of  Lucrezia  Borgia  —  Of  Isabella's 
secretary,  Capilupi — Mario  Equicola  succeeds  him — Death  of 
Lorenzo  dei  Medici,  Duke  of  Urbino — Mission  of  Castiglione 
to  Rome — Urbino  annexed  to  the  Papal  States — Raphael 
designs  a  tomb  for  the  Marquis  Francesco — His  picture  for 
Isabella — Portrait  of  Federico  sent  to  Mantua — Mentioned  in 
Charles  the  First's  inventories — Trial  of  Longueil — Pandolfo 
Pico's  letter  on  the  death  of  Raphael. 

The  year  1519  proved  fatal  to  many  persons  closely 
connected  with  Isabella  d'Este,  and  whose  lives  and 
destinies  had  influenced  the  fortunes  of  her  house. 
First  of  all,  in  January  the  Emperor  Maximihan 
died,  and  was  succeeded  in  June  by  his  grandson, 
Charles  V.,  who  already  reigned  over  Spain,  Naples, 
and  the  Netherlands.  While  the  rival  powers  of 
Europe  were  still  intriguing  over  the  imperial  election, 
the  Marquis  Francesco  Gonzaga  passed  away.  After 
Isabella's  return  from  Casale  at  the  end  of  the  year, 
he  became  rapidly  worse,  and  was  unable  to  leave  the 
palace  of  S.  Sebastiano.  On  the  morning  of  the  29th 
of  March,  he  sent  for  his  notary,  Leonello  Marchese, 
and  made  a  will,  appointing  his  son  Federico  his 
heir  and  successor,  and  leaving  a  yearly  income  of 
8000  ducats  to  his  two  younger  sons,  Ercole  and 
Ferrante,  and  a  portion  of  3000  ducats  to  his  two 
unmarried  daughters.    A  yearly  pension  of  400  ducats 


was  provided  for  his  two  illegitimate  daughters,  and 
a  house  in  the  Borgo  Pradella  was  assigned  to  Mar- 
gherita,  who  still  remained  unmarried.  The  Marchesa 
was  confirmed  in  the  possession  of  all  her  revenues, 
amounting  to  a  yearly  income  of  12,000  ducats,  and, 
together  with  the  Cardinal  and  Giovanni  Gonzaga, 
was  appointed  executor  and  guardian,  or  adviser  of 
her  son  Federico  until  he  should  attain  the  age  of 
twenty-two.  A  fine  house  and  estate  was  also  left 
to  his  brother  Giovanni  as  a  special  token  of  affection, 
and  a  pension  of  6000  ducats  a  year  was  assigned  to 
the  Duke  and  Duchesses  of  Urbino  during  their 
exile.^  After  this  the  dying  man  received  the  last 
sacraments,  and  sent  for  his  wife  and  children,  who 
assembled  round  his  bedside  towards  evening.  Both 
the  Duchesses  of  Urbino,  his  sister  and  daughter, 
were  present,  as  well  as  Isabella,  her  three  sons,  and  two 
younger  daughters — Ippolita,  who  had  taken  the  veil 
eight  years  before,  and  Livia,  who  had  been  destined 
to  the  cloister  from  her  birth,  and  was  already  known 
by  her  conventual  name  of  Paola.  The  Marquis 
took  leave  of  them  and  of  the  chief  magistrates  and 
nobles  of  Mantua,  begging  them  to  serve  his  son 
as  well  as  they  had  served  him.  "  My  dearest  son," 
he  said  to  Federico,  "  1  leave  you  a  beautiful  state 
and  a  large  revenue.  See  that  you  act  justly  and 
keep  the  love  of  your  subjects,  and  carry  out  my  last 
orders  if  you  wish  me  to  rest  in  peace."  Then,  turn- 
ing to  Isabella,  he  recommended  his  children  to  her 
care,  saying  that  he  had  long  known  her  marvellous 
wisdom  and  capacity,  and  placed  his  whole  trust  and 
confidence  in  her.  After  this  he  asked  two  Franciscan 
friars  who  were  present  to  read  aloud  the  account  of 

^  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxvii.  l6l. 


the  death  of  Christ  from  St.  Luke's  Gospel,  and  when 
they  reached  the  passage,  "  Father,  into  Thy  hands  I 
commend  my  spirit,"  he  commended  his  own  soul 
devoutly  into  the  hands  of  God.  "  Nothing  was  to 
be  seen  on  the  faces  of  all  present  but  tears,"  writes 
Equicola,  who  was  present;  "notliing  was  to  be 
heard  but  the  sobbing  of  the  women,  while  the  children 
stood  by,  as  it  were,  stunned  and  silent."  At  eight 
o'clock  the  INIarquis  breathed  his  last.  All  the  next 
day  his  body  lay  in  state  in  the  Castello,  after  which 
it  was  clothed  in  the  Franciscan  habit,  as  he  had 
desired,  and  borne  in  an  oak  coffin  covered  with  a 
black  velvet  pall  to  the  Gonzaga  chapel  in  the  church 
of  S.  Francesco,  followed  by  all  the  friars  in  Mantua.^ 
On  the  4th  of  April  the  new  Marquis,  Federico, 
rode  out  of  the  Castello,  clad  in  white,  and,  standing 
under  the  great  gates  of  the  cathedral,  received  the 
sceptre  from  the  hands  of  Sigismondo  Folengo, 
Podesta  of  Mantua.  Then  he  rode  through  the  city, 
followed  by  all  the  nobles  and  chief  citizens.  His 
stew^ard,  Ippoliti,  rode  before  him,  bearing  a  naked 
sword  high  over  his  head,  while  drums  were  beat 
and  trumpets  sounded,  and  the  people  shouted 
"  Long  live  the  house  of  Gonzaga."  A  week  after- 
wards the  last  honours  were  paid  to  the  dead  ruler, 
and  Federico  rode  in  state  at  the  head  of  all  the 
princes  of  his  house  to  the  church  of  S.  Francesco. 
Here  his  father's  corpse  was  laid  on  a  sumptuous  cata- 
falque hung  with  banners  and  lighted  with  blazing 
torches,  crowned  with  an  effigy  of  the  dead  prince  in 
armour.^  Federico's  old  tutor,  Francesco  Vigilio, 
delivered  a  funeral   oration   on   the   following   day, 

^  Mario  Equicola,  Commentarii,  ed.  l607. 

*  G.  Daino,  Cronaca  ;  Volta,  Storia  di  Mantova,  ii.  304. 

GRIEF   OF   LUCREZIA   BORGIA        157 

after  which  the  new  Marquis  received  the  foreign 
ambassadors  and  gave  audience  to  the  chief  citizens 
of  Mantua  and  the  neighbouring  towns.  During  the 
next  weeks  the  widowed  IMarchesa  received  letters 
and  visits  of  condolence,  not  only,  as  Bandello  re- 
marked, from  all  parts  of  Italy,  but  from  all  quarters 
of  the  civilised  world.  Ambassadors  from  France, 
Spain,  and  Germany  came  to  offer  her  their  respectful 
sympathy.  Pope  Leo  X.,  who,  in  spite  of  his  base 
and  treacherous  conduct  towards  Isabella's  kindred 
of  Urbino  and  Ferrara,  always  professed  sincere  regard 
for  her,  sent  his  secretary,  Pietro  Bembo,  in  June  to 
Mantua  to  offer  his  condolences  and  present  his 
congratulations  to  Federico ;  and,  at  the  Marchesa's 
invitation,  this  old  friend  paid  her  a  visit  at  Marmirolo, 
where  she  was  spending  the  summer.  Even  Cardinal 
Bibbiena,  who  could  hardly  appear  in  Isabella's 
presence  after  taking  the  field  against  her  son-in-law, 
sent  a  courteous  note  from  BresceUo  on  his  way 
back  from  France,  professing  the  warmest  sentiments 
of  affection  and  regretting  his  inabihty  to  visit  her  in 

One  of  the  kindest  letters  which  Isabella  received 
on  this  occasion  was  from  her  sister-in-law,  Lucrezia 
Borgia.^  Duke  Alfonso,  alarmed  by  the  Pope's 
secret  designs  against  Ferrara,  had  gone  to  the  court 
of  France  to  seek  the  help  of  his  ally.  King  Francis  I., 
and  only  heard  of  his  brother-in-law's  death  on  his 
return  home.  ISIeanwhile  Lucrezia  wrote  on  the  31st 
of  March  to  express  her  deep  regret  at  the  death  of  a 
prince  who  had  always  been  a  good  friend  to  her. 
"  This  bitter  loss,"  she  wrote  to  Isabella,  "  has 
afflicted  me  so  deeply  that,  instead  of  being  able  to 

^  Gregorovius,  "  L.  Borgia,"  p.  319. 

158  HER   DEATH 

comfort  others,  I  am  in  sore  need  of  comfort  myself. 
I  grieve  from  my  heart  for  Your  Excellency  in  this 
great  sorrow,  and  can  never  express  how  much  grief 
it  has  caused  me.  But  since  it  has  thus  pleased  God, 
we  must  bow  to  His  will,  and  I  know  Your  Highness 
will  bear  this  grief  with  your  well-known  courage  and 
wisdom."  The  poor  Duchess  was  herself  in  a  critical 
state  of  health.  On  the  14th  of  June  she  gave  birth 
to  a  dead  child,  and  ten  days  afterwards  she  breathed 
her  last  in  the  arms  of  her  husband,  on  the  night  of 
the  24th.  Two  days  before  her  death,  feeling  that 
her  last  hour  was  near,  she  dictated  a  touching  letter 
to  Pope  Leo  X.,  begging  for  his  blessing  and  prayers, 
and  commending  her  husband  and  children  to  his 
care.  Alfonso's  grief  was  deep  and  real.  He  had 
been  tenderly  attached  to  this  "  dear  partner  of  his 
life,"  as  he  called  the  wife  whom  he  had  so  reluctantly 
married,  and  he  fainted  away  at  the  funeral,  and  had 
to  be  carried  into  the  sacristy  of  the  church  and 
revived  with  aqua  vitce.  Giovanni  Gonzaga,  who 
was  present,  found  the  whole  city  plunged  in  mourn- 
ing, and  heard  "wonderful  things"  of  the  goodness 
and  piety  of  the  lamented  Duchess.^ 

Another  personal  loss  which  affected  Isabella 
very  closely  was  the  death  of  her  faithful  secretary, 
Benedetto  Capilupi,  who  had  been  her  daily  com- 
panion and  assistant  ever  since  her  marriage.  His 
health  had  long  been  failing,  and  he  died  towards 
the  close  of  1518,  a  few  months  before  the  Marquis 
Francesco.  The  choice  of  a  new  secretary  was  a 
matter  of  great  importance  to  the  Marchesa,  and 
after  long   consideration   she    eventually   appointed 

^  Zucchetti,  "Lucrezia  Borgia,"  p.  21,  &c. ;  Gregorovius,  "L, 
Borgia,"  p.  322. 


Mario  Equicola  to  the  vacant  post.  "It  is  especi- 
ally important,"  she  wrote  to  her  brother  Alfonso, 
on  the  28rd  of  May  1519,  "to  have  a  secretary  who 
is  agreeable  to  the  Signer  Marchese,  and  as  he  and 
all  my  family  are  in  favom*  of  Mario  I  have  made 
him  my  secretary."  Both  as  a  refined  Latin  scholar 
and  a  skilled  diplomatist,  Equicola  was  especially 
qualified  for  the  post.  And  from  the  time  that 
Federico  was  a  boy  in  Rome  he  had  ingratiated 
himself  with  him  by  sending  him  messages  from 
his  mother's  lively  maids-of-honour,  especially  Alda 
Boiarda,  and  that  Isabella  Lavagnola  with  whom 
Mario's  own  name  had  been  repeatedly  associated, 
much  to  the  Marchesa's  displeasure.  Certainly  the 
young  Marquis  honoured  Mario  with  many  tokens 
of  his  favour,  and  bestowed  several  lucrative  offices 
upon  him  during  the  first  months  of  his  reign.  On 
the  whole  Equicola  served  Isabella  well,  although 
in  the  last  years  of  his  hfe,  when  dissensions  arose 
between  Federico  and  his  mother,  he  had  a  difficult 
part  to  play,  and  in  his  anxiety  to  worship  the 
rising  sun,  did  not  always  remember  the  loyalty 
which  he  owed  to  his  mistress. 

Meanwhile  news  reached  Mantua  of  the  sudden 
death  of  the  Pope's  nephew  Lorenzo  dei  Medici. 
This  weak  and  dissolute  prince  expired  at  Florence 
on  the  4th  of  May,  only  a  few  days  after  his  French 
wife,  Madeleine  de  la  Tour  d'Auvergne,  leaving  an 
infant  princess  who  afterwards  became  known  in 
history  as  Catherine  dei  Medici.  This  unexpected 
event  revived  the  hopes  of  Francesco  Maria,  whose  re- 
storation to  the  throne  of  Urbino  was  eagerly  desired 
by  his  old  subjects.  But  Isabella  and  Federico  both 
felt    that    their  own  interests    were  at  stake,   and 

160        RAPHAEL   DESIGNS   A   TOMB 

refused  to  help  the  Duke  in  any  rash  attempt  to 
recover  his  throne.  The  favour  of  Pope  Leo  X. 
was  of  the  utmost  importance  to  the  young  Marquis, 
and  in  order  to  secure  this  he  and  his  mother  agreed 
to  send  CastigHone  to  Rome  to  obtain  certain  con- 
cessions from  tlie  Pope  regarding  the  salt  duties 
payable  by  the  State  to  the  Holy  See,  and  at  the 
same  time  plead  the  cause  of  the  exiled  Duke.  Leo 
X.,  however,  was  inflexible  on  this  latter  point,  and, 
immediately  after  his  nephew's  death,  the  annexa- 
tion of  the  duchy  of  Urbino  to  the  Papal  States 
was  proclaimed.  On  all  other  matters  His  Holiness 
showed  himself  very  favourably  disposed  towards  the 
young  INIarquis,  and  sent  Isabella  the  most  gracious 

Among  the  other  commissions  with  which  the 
Marchesa  had  charged  Castiglione  on  this  occasion 
was  that  of  obtaining  a  design  for  her  husband's 
tomb  from  Michel  Angelo  or  Raphael.  The  Count 
naturally  applied  first  of  aU  to  his  dear  friend,  and 
on  the  3rd  of  June,  he  wrote  to  inform  Isabella 
of  the  unexpected  success  which  had  attended  his 
application  to  the  great  master  of  Urbino.  "  As  to 
what  Your  Excellency  writes  regarding  the  drawings 
for  the  tomb,  I  hope  that  by  this  time  your  wish 
is  satisfied,  and  that  you  have  received  Raphael's 
—  to  my  mind  —  altogether  appropriate  design, 
from  the  hands  of  Monsignore  Tricarico  [Lodovico 
da  Canossa].  Michel  Angelo  was  not  in  Rome,  so 
there  was  no  one  but  Raphael  to  whom  I  could 
apply,  and  I  feel  sure  his  drawing  will  please  you."  ^ 
The  monument,  however,  was  never  erected,  and 
Raphael's  sketch  has  unfortunately  disappeared.     A 

^  Campori,  Notizie  di  Rajffaello,  &c. 


singular  fatality  has  attended  all  the  works  which 
the  Urbinate  executed  for  the  Gonzagas.  We  saw 
how  the  portrait  of  Federico  was  left  unfinished  at 
the  moment  of  Julius  the  Second's  death.  After 
the  young  prince's  departure,  either  Raphael  himself 
or  one  of  his  assistants  completed  the  portrait,  which 
was  found  by  Castiglione  in  the  possession  of  one 
of  Cardinal  Colonna's  servants,  nine  months  after 
Raphael's  death.  "  I  hear,"  wrote  the  Count  to 
his  lord  on  the  1st  of  January  1521,  "that  a  portrait 
of  Your  Excellency,  painted  by  the  hand  of  Raphael, 
is  here  in  Rome,  and  belongs  to  a  servant  of  the 
Most  Reverend  Colonna.  I  have  tried  to  buy  it, 
but  the  owner  will  not  part  from  it  for  anything 
in  the  world.  I  have  therefore  applied  to  the  said 
Cardinal,  telling  him  that  Your  Excellency  knows 
this  portrait  is  in  Rome,  and  has  desired  me  to 
procure  it  for  you,  so  I  think  the  Cardinal  will 
manage  to  make  you  a  present  of  it."  ^  Federico  was 
dehghted  to  hear  of  Castiglione's  discovery,  and 
when,  on  the  19th  of  February,  the  precious  portrait 
reached  Mantua,  he  expressed  his  warmest  thanks 
to  Cardinal  Colonna  for  a  gift  which  was  more 
acceptable  to  him  than  anything  else  in  the  world. 
Raphael's  portrait  is  mentioned  again  in  a  letter 
addressed  to  Federico  at  the  time  of  his  marriage 
by  Ippolito  Calandra  in  October  1531.  At  that 
time  the  ducal  apartments  in  the  Castello  were 
being  decorated  to  receive  the  prince's  bride,  and 
among  the  pictures  that  were  hung  under  Giulio 
Romano's  direction  in  one  hall,  Calandra  mentions 
"  the  portrait  of  Your  Excellency  by  Messer  Tiziano, 

^  Campori,  op.  cit.,  p.  9,  &c. 
VOL.  II.  L 


and  that  which  Raphael  of  Urbino  painted  of  Your 
Excellency  in  Rome."  ^ 

A  hundred  years  later,  when  Duke  Vincenzo 
II.  sold  the  greater  part  of  his  priceless  collection 
to  Charles  I.,  we  find  a  small  bust-portrait  of  the 
first  Duke  Federico  as  a  boy,  in  armour,  among 
the  entries  in  the  inventory  of  1G27.  The  picture 
certainly  came  to  England,  and  is  correctly  described 
in  Van  der  Doort's  catalogue  of  the  pictures  at 
Whitehall  and  St.  James's  in  1639,  as  "  The  Marquis 
of  Mantua,  who  by  Charles  V.  was  made  first  Duke 
of  Mantua — 5h  inches  by  8|  inches.  A  Head,  on 
panel,  of  a  young  man  with  long  locks,  wearing  a  red 
hat,  with  a  medal."  This,  it  is  clear,  was  Caradosso's 
relief  of  Hercules,  which  Federico  wore  when  he 
sat  to  Raphael  for  his  portrait.  At  the  sale  of  the 
royal  collection  during  the  Commonwealth,  this 
portrait  was  described  as  "A  Marquis's  Head,  by 
Raphael,  and  appraised  at  £200."  According  to 
Passavant,  the  portrait  was  bought  for  Cardinal 
Richelieu,  after  whose  death  it  returned  to  England, 
and  was  seen  by  Dr.  Waagen  in  the  Lucy  collection 
at  Charlecote  Park,  Warwickshire.  About  twenty 
years  ago  it  was  sold  to  a  London  dealer,  and  has 
not  been  heard  of  since.^ 

When  Isabella  herself  was  in  Rome,  she  had,  as 
we  have  seen,^  asked  Raphael  to  paint  a  little  picture 
for  her  studio,  and  after  her  return  to  Mantua, 
begged  Agostino  Gonzaga  to  remind  the  master  of 
his   promise.     In  June  1515,  Agostino  replied  that 

1  Pungileoni,  Elogio,p.  182.       D'Arco,  op.  cit.,  ii.  153. 

2  Claude  Phillips,  "  The  Picture  Gallery  of  Charles  I.,"  p.  80. 
Waagen,  "  Kunstwerke  in  England,"  p.  476 ;  Passavant,  Kunstreite, 
p.  156. 

8  P.  112. 


he  had  spoken  to  Raphael,  who  promised  to  begin 
the  work  shortly.  But,  knowing  by  experience 
how  vain  these  assurances  often  proved,  the  INIarchesa 
thought  it  well  to  call  in  Castiglione's  help.  Ac- 
cordingly, when  the  Count  came  to  Mantua  that 
summer,  she  begged  him  to  use  his  influence  with 
Raphael  on  her  behalf,  and  on  the  8th  of  November, 
he  wrote  from  Urbino  to  tell  her  of  his  efforts  in 
this  direction. 

"  When  I  left  Mantua,  Your  Excellency  desired 
me  to  induce  Raphael  to  paint  your  picture.  So  1 
wrote  to  him  directly  I  reached  Urbino,  and  he 
replied  that  he  would  gladly  satisfy  your  wish. 
After  that  I  went  to  Rome  and  entreated  him  so 
earnestly  that  he  promised  to  put  all  his  other  works 
aside  to  work  for  Your  Highness.  Now  he  asks  me 
to  send  the  measurements  of  the  picture,  and  the 
particulars  of  the  lighting,  so  that  he  may  set  to 
work  without  delay.  So,  if  Your  Excellency  will 
send  me  these,  I  will  see  to  the  rest,  and  only  await 
your  orders." 

Isabella  replied  in  the  following  letter : — 
"Dearest  and  magnificent  Knight, — I  have  not 
answered  your  letter  of  the  8th  before,  as  I  was 
awaiting  a  trusted  messenger.  Now  I  send  my 
horseman,  and  thank  you  warmly  for  your  good 
offices  with  Raphael  of  Urbino,  and  for  persuading 
him  to  gratify  my  wish.  And  for  the  further  exe- 
cution of  this  kind  service,  I  send  you  by  my  horse- 
man the  canvas  for  the  picture,  together  with  the 
measurements  and  lighting,  which  you  will  forward 
to  Raphael,  begging  him  to  begin  the  work  and 
paint  it  at  his  convenience,  assuring  him,  never- 
theless, that  the  sooner  he  can  serve  me,  the  better 


pleased     I     shall    be."^       Mantua,    November    30, 


But   neither  Castiglione's   powers   of  persuasion 

nor  Raphael's  affection  for  his  friend  could  avail 
anything.  When  the  Count  returned  to  Rome  in 
1519,  the  Marchesa's  picture  was  still  unfinished, 
and  the  Duke  of  Ferrara's  envoy,  Paolucci,  wrote 
to  his  master :  "  I  have  been  to  see  M.  Baldassarre 
Castiglione,  with  whom  I  spoke  of  Raphael,  and 
he  told  me  that  for  a  long  time  past  he  had  been 
painting  a  picture  for  Madama  la  Marchesana,  but 
was  so  busy  with  other  things  that  he  only  worked 
at  it  in  his  presence.  And  the  Count  feels  certain 
that,  when  he  is  gone,  he  will  work  at  it  no  more  I "  ^ 
Unfortunately,  the  Count  left  Rome  in  November 
1519,  and  since  Raphael  died  in  the  following 
April,  we  may  conclude  that  Isabella's  picture  re- 
mained unfinished.  There  is  no  further  mention  of 
the  coveted  work  in  her  correspondence,  or  in  the 
inventories  of  her  collection.  All  we  know  is  that 
among  the  "  Mantuan  pieces  "  bought  by  Charles  I. 
there  were  two  pictures  bearing  the  great  Urbinate's 
name.  One  of  these  was  the  Holy  Family,  known  as 
"  La  Perla,"  a  picture  painted  in  Raphael's  latter  days, 
and  chiefly  by  the  hands  of  assistants,  for  Lodovico 
da  Canossa,  which  was  afterwards  acquired  by  Duke 
Vincenzo  I.  The  other  was  a  quadi^etto,  described 
in  the  inventory  of  the  King's  sale  as  a  Little  Virgin 
and  Christ,  and  valued  at  the  high  price  of  £800. 
Mr.  Claude  Phillips  suggests  that  this  little  picture 
may  have  been  the  Vierge  de  la  Maison  d'Orl^ans, 
now  at  Chantilly,  which  was  probably  the  quadretto 

^  Luzio,  "Federico  Gonzaga,"  p.  68. 
2  Campori,  oji.  cit.,  p.  12. 


painted  for  Duke  Guidobaldo  of  Urbino,  and  may 
have  been  given  to  Isabella  by  her  son-in-law.  If, 
on  the  contrary,  as  Campori  thinks,  the  Little  Virgin 
of  the  Mantuan  collection  was  the  picture  painted 
by  Raphael  for  the  Marchesa  in  the  last  years  of  his 
life,  it  could  not  have  been  the  Chantilly  Madonna, 
which  evidently  belongs  to  an  earlier  period.  But 
there  is  a  Madonna  of  the  Roman  period,  only  partly 
the  work  of  Raphael,  which  may  well  have  been 
finished  after  his  death  by  some  inferior  hand.  This 
is  the  fascinating  picture  known  as  the  Rogers 
Madonna,  which  was  exhibited  last  winter  at  Bur- 
lington House,  and  is  now  the  property  of  Miss 
Macintosh.  Like  the  Chantilly  Madonna,  this 
Virgin  and  Child  belonged  to  the  Orleans  collection, 
and  may  equally  have  come  to  England  from 
Mantua.  It  is  therefore  possible  that  this  sadly 
injured  painting,  which  still  retains  the  matchless 
charm  of  Raphael's  design,  may  be  the  picture  on 
which  Castiglione  watched  the  great  master  at  work 
in  the  last  days  of  his  life,  and  for  which  Isabella 
waited  so  long  in  vain. 

Castiglione's  letters  to  the  Marchesa  contain  several 
other  allusions  to  the  wonderful  works  which  were 
crowded  into  Raphael's  last  year.  In  a  letter  of  June 
16,  he  writes :  "  His  Hohness  takes  more  dehght  in 
music  than  ever,  and  enjoys  every  variety  of  his 
favourite  art.  He  also  takes  great  pleasure  in  archi- 
tecture, and  is  always  doing  something  new  in  his 
palace.  The  latest  addition  is  a  loggia,  painted  and 
adorned  with  stuccoes  in  the  antique  style.  This  is 
the  work  of  Raphael,  and  is  perhaps  more  beautiful 
than  anything  which  has  been  seen  in  modern  times." 

In  the  same  letter  Castiglione  alludes  to  an  event 


which  had  stirred  Roman  society  to  its  depths.  A 
brilliant  Flemish  scholar,  Christoplie  Longueil,  after 
winning  the  highest  honours  at  the  University  of 
Paris,  came  to  Rome  in  the  year  1516,  and  quickly 
acquired  a  well  -  deserved  fame  in  learned  circles. 
Erasmus,  Reginald  Pole,  Bembo,  and  Sadoleto  all 
numbered  him  among  their  friends,  and  it  was 
proposed  to  confer  the  honour  of  Roman  citizen- 
ship upon  him  in  recognition  of  certain  orations 
which  he  had  pronounced  in  praise  of  the  Eternal 
City.  This  proposal  excited  the  jealousy  of  a  strong 
party  in  the  Roman  Academy,  who  looked  coldly  on 
foreign  humanists ;  and  a  young  Roman,  of  noble 
birth  and  high  attainments,  named  Celso  Mellini, 
boldly  accused  Longueil  of  high  treason,  on  account 
of  an  old  oration  in  which  he  had  formerly  ventured 
to  declare  that  France  and  Paris  were  greater  than 
Italy  and  Rome.  The  most  intense  excitement 
prevailed  on  both  sides,  and  crowds  assembled  in 
the  great  hall  of  the  Capitol  to  hear  Mellini  dehver 
his  Latin  oration  before  the  Pope,  the  Cardinals,  and 
Senators  of  Rome.  The  tempest  of  enthusiasm  and 
rage  which  the  young  orator's  speech  excited  is  de- 
scribed by  Castiglione  in  his  usual  Uvely  style. 

"A  young  Fleming,  called  Longolio,"  he  writes 
to  Isabella,  "lately  came  to  Rome,  and  is  pronounced 
by  all  who  know  him  to  be  a  most  learned  man.  It 
seems  that  he  asked  the  Conservatori  to  make  him  a 
Roman  citizen,  and  that  his  request  was  granted. 
Afterwards  it  was  discovered  that  some  time  ago, 
when  he  was  very  young,  he  had  made  an  oration  in 
favour  of  France,  in  which  he  condemned  many 
things  in  Rome,  and  placed  the  French  above  the 
Romans  in  all  things.     Then  a  young  Roman,  not 


yet  twenty  years,  a  son  of  Mario  IMellini,  sprang  up 
and  delivered  a  long  and  eloquent  oration  in  the 
finest  possible  manner.  He  attacked  Longolio  in 
the  Pope's  presence  with  so  much  power  and  pathos 
that  every  one  wept  to  hear  him  describe  the  cala- 
mities which  have  befallen  the  city  of  Rome,  and 
filled  the  hearts  of  his  hearers  with  such  hatred 
against  the  guilty  man  that  every  one  declared  if  the 
Pope  had  not  been  present  and  Longolio  had  been 
there,  he  would  have  been  thrown  out  of  the  windows 
and  cut  to  pieces.  And  His  Holiness  himself  con- 
fessed that  he  was  deeply  moved.  Now  a  most 
eloquent  oration  is  expected  from  Longolio  in  his 
defence,  which  will  be  recited  before  the  Pope  by 
another  noble  Roman  youth,  for  this  Longolio  has 
many  supporters  among  the  most  learned  men  here, 
such  as  Bembo,  Sadoleto,  Jo.  Batt.  Casanova,  Bishop 
Porcaro,  Capella,  and  others.  So  you  see  that  we 
shall  have  a  whole  collection  of  Latin  orations,  which 
I  will  try  and  send  Your  Excellency.*'  ^ 

Luckily  for  poor  Longueil's  safety,  he  had  left 
Rome  secretly  before  the  trial  and  returned  to  Paris. 
An  eloquent  Latin  defence  from  his  pen  was 
afterwards  printed  by  his  friends,  in  which  he 
maintained  that  he  had  broken  no  Roman  laws,  but 
was  the  victim  of  the  envy  and  hatred  of  the  Roman 
scholars.  Even  the  Pope,  who  had  been  moved  to 
tears  by  Celso  Mellini's  speech,  confessed  that  the 
young  Roman  might  be  the  more  eloquent,  but  that 
the  Fleming  had  the  better  case.  Celso,  however, 
was  the  hero  of  the  hour.  The  Archdeacon  of  Mantua 
spoke  of  him  as  another  Cicero,  and  told  Equicola 
how,  after  the  trial,  his  father,  Mario  Mellini,  enter- 

^  D.  Gnoli,  Giudizio,  p.  54. 

168  HIS   EARLY   END 

tained  the  whole  Academy  at  a  banquet  at  his  villa 
on  Monte  JNlario,  while  his  rival  fled  from  Rome 
in  fear  of  his  life.  Celso  was  taken  into  the  Pope's 
household  and  loaded  with  honours  and  rewards,  and 
Longueil  consoled  himself  in  the  company  of  Erasmus 
at  Lou  vain.  ^  Before  long,  however,  his  innocence  was 
triumphantly  vindicated  ;  he  was  offered  the  Latin 
chair  at  Florence  by  Cardinal  Giulio  dei  Medici,  and 
invited  to  return  to  Rome  and  receive  the  honours  of 
citizenship.  But  he  preferred  to  settle  at  Padua,  near 
his  friend  Bembo,  and  died  of  fever  at  Venice  in  1522. 
His  brilliant  rival's  career  was  also  prematurely  cut 
short.  Only  a  few  months  after  the  famous  scene  in 
the  Capitol,  he  was  drowmed  in  a  swollen  torrent  as 
he  rode  into  Rome,  from  the  Pope's  villa  of  La 
Magliana,  on  a  dark  and  stormy  November  night. 
All  the  poets  at  the  papal  court  lamented  the  ill- 
fated  youth  in  their  verses,  and  the  Pope  himself 
wrote  an  elegy  in  his  honour.  Isabella  d'Este, 
who  had  taken  the  deepest  interest  in  the  whole 
of  this  curious  story,  alludes  to  his  death  in  the  same 
letter  in  which  she  sorrows  over  the  untimely  close  of 
Raphael's  life.  On  that  fatal  Easter  Eve,  when  Rome 
was  filled  with  mourning  and  consternation,  one  of 
the  Marchesa's  many  correspondents,  Messer  Pandolfo 
Pico  della  Mirandola,  who  often  sent  her  news  when 
Castiglione  and  her  other  friends  were  absent,  took 
up  his  pen  and  wrote  this  memorable  letter : — 

"To  the  most  illustrious  and  excellent  lady, 
Madama  la  Marchesana  di  Mantova.  Although,  in 
these  holy  days,  our  thoughts  should  be  whoUy 
occupied  in  confession  and  devout  exercises,  I  will 
not  fail  to  pay  my  duty  to  Your  Excellency.     For 

1  V.  Cian,  Giorn.  St.,  xix.  155. 

DEATH    OF    RAPHAEL  169 

the  moment,  I  have  but  one  thing  to  tell  you.  This 
is  the  death  of  Raphael  of  Urbino,  who  passed  away 
last  night,  that  is  to  say,  on  the  night  of  Good 
Friday,  leaving  this  court  plunged  in  the  most 
profound  and  universal  grief  for  the  ruin  of  those 
hopes  of  the  greatest  things  which  were  expected 
from  him,  and  which,  had  he  lived  to  realise  them, 
would  have  been  the  glory  of  this  age.  And  indeed, 
as  every  one  says,  we  had  a  right  to  expect  the 
greatest  things  from  him,  seeing  those  which  he  had 
already  accomplished,  and  the  still  grander  works 
which  he  had  begun.  The  heavens  have  proclaimed 
this  death  by  one  of  those  signs  which  marked  the 
death  of  Christ,  when  the  rocks  were  opened.  Lapides 
scissi  sunt.  In  the  same  way,  the  Pope's  palace  has 
cracked  in  such  a  manner  that  the  building  is  threat- 
ened with  ruin,  and  His  Holiness  has  fled  in  terror 
from  his  rooms  and  has  gone  to  those  built  by  Pope 
Innocent  VIII.  Here  we  talk  of  nothing  but  the 
death  of  this  great  man,  who  has  ended  his  first  life 
at  the  age  of  thirty-three.  His  second  life,  that 
immortal  fame  which  knows  neither  time  nor  death, 
will  endure  eternally,  both  by  reason  of  his  works  and 
by  the  labours  of  the  scholars  who  will  write  his 
praises,  and  who  will  find  in  him  a  never-failing  theme. 
The  said  Raphael  was  very  honourably  buried  in  the 
Rotonda,  where  he  had  desired  a  monument  to  be 
placed  at  the  cost  of  1000  ducats,  and  had  endowed 
the  chapel  of  his  sepulchre  with  the  same  amount. 
He  has  also  left  300  ducats  to  each  of  his  servants. 
Yesterday  we  heard  from  Florence  that  Michel  Angelo 
was  ill. — Your  most  faithful  servant,  Pandolfo  di 
Pico  della  Mirandola."  ^     Rome,  April  7,  1520. 

^  Campori,  Noiizie  di  Rajj'acUo,  p.  13. 

170        ISABELT.A   LAMENTS    HIS   LOSS 

Isabella  replied  on  the  16th,  from  Mantua,  by  the 
pen  of  her  secretary,  Mario  Equicola,  whose  style  we 
recognise  in  the  following  note : — 

"  Messer  Pandolfo, — In  reply  to  yours  of  the  7th, 
I  have  nothing  to  say  but  that  I  grieve  deeply  for  the 
death  of  Messer  Raphael,  a  man  worthy  of  immortal 
fame  and  master  of  the  painter's  art.  God  has  taken 
from  us  what  He  has  given  to  no  other,  but  the  laws 
of  Nature  are  inevitable  and  Fate  has  fixed  the  term 
of  life.  Therefore  we  must  be  patient.  We  have 
heard  of  the  verses  wi'itten  on  the  premature  death 
of  the  clever  Mellini.  If  we  were  to  grieve  for  so 
gifted  a  youth  as  much  as  his  merit  deserves,  our 
sorrow  would  be  endless,  but  to  observe  moderation 
in  all  things  and  to  obey  the  voice  of  reason  is  alone 
worthy  of  praise.  We  would  be  glad  to  see  those 
verses.  Blessed  indeed  is  he  whose  death  has  been 
celebrated  by  the  Pope  !  What  greater  praise  could 
he  have,  or  by  what  greater  personage  could  he  be 
lamented  ?     Farewell."  ^ 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  233. 



Titian  visits  Mantua — Admires  Mantegna's  works — Visit  of  the 
papal  nuncio  Chiericati — His  letters  to  Isabella  from  Spain 
and  England  —  Description  of  the  court  of  Henry  VHI. 
—  Pilgrimage  to  Ireland,  and  strange  adventures  —  The 
sweating  sickness  in  London — Chiericati  helps  Isabella  to 
restore  friendly  relations  with  Charles  V. — Her  influence  and 
that  of  Castiglione  at  the  Vatican — Death  of  Ippolita  Torelli 
— Letters  of  the  Marchesa  and  her  son  to  Castiglione — Death 
of  Cardinal  Bibbiena. 

Five  months  before  Raphael  died  in  Rome,  Titian 
paid  his  first  visit  to  Mantua.  In  the  autumn  of 
1519,  the  Venetian  master  was  engaged  in  painting 
his  great  series  of  Bacchanals  for  Alfonso  d'Este  in 
the  Castello  of  Ferrara,  and  took  advantage  of  a 
tournament  that  was  held  at  the  ducal  court,  to  pay 
a  flying  visit  to  Mantua  in  company  with  the  court 
painter  Dosso  Dossi.  Isabella  was  unfortunately 
absent  at  Marmirolo,  and  only  heard  of  Messer 
Tiziano's  visit  afterwards  from  her  faithful  corre- 
spondent Girolamo  da  Sestola.  On  the  22nd  of  No- 
vember the  old  music  master  sent  her  the  following 
note : — 

"  Dear  and  most  illustrious  Lady, — Some  days  ago 
M.  Dosso  and  M.  Tiziano,  another  good  master  who 
is  making  a  fine  painting  here  in  Ferrara  for  the  Lord 
Duke,  went  to  JNIantua.  He  saw  all  Mantegna's 
works,  and  praised  them  greatly  to  our  Signor,  and 



he  also  praised  your  Studios.  But,  above  all,  he  ad- 
mired your  Tondo  exceedingly,  and  calls  it  the  finest 
thing  that  he  has  ever  seen.  Our  Signor  has  one 
here,  but  Titian  says  that  yours  is  incomparably 
the  finest.  I  commend  myself,  as  ever,  to  Your 
Highness. — Your  servant,  Girolamo  da  Sestola, 
called  Cholgia."^ 

There  can,  we  think,  be  little  doubt  that  the 
Tondo  which  Titian  admired  so  much  was  Mantegna's 
famous  fresco  in  the  vault  of  the  Sala  degli  Sposi, 
with  the  blue  sky  above,  and  the  laughing  putti,  the 
blue-breasted  peacock,  and  women's  heads  looking 
over  the  parapet.  This  wonderful  perspective  of 
Andrea's  invention  excited  the  admiration  of  all  the 
foremost  painters  of  the  age,  and  there  was  nothing 
to  compare  with  it  either  at  Mantua  or  at  Ferrara. 
A  painter  in  Alfonso's  service,  Ercole  Grandi,  had, 
it  is  true,  adopted  a  similar  method  in  a  fresco  with 
which  he  decorated  the  roof  of  a  hall  at  Ferrara, 
but,  as  Titian  justly  pronounced,  Mantegna's  Tondo 
was  far  finer,  and  the  Marchesa  had  good  reason  to 
be  proud  of  this  unrivalled  masterpiece. 

Another  distinguished  stranger  who  visited  Man- 
tua while  Isabella  was  spending  the  first  months  of  her 
widowhood  in  comparative  seclusion,  was  the  papal 
nuncio  Francesco  Chiericati.  Since  the  days  when 
the  Marchesa  met  the  clever  Vicentine  secretary  at 
Milan  during  Maximilian  Sforza's  brief  reign,  he  had 
risen  high  in  Pope  Leo's  favour,  and  had  been 
employed  on  many  important  missions.  But  he 
never  wavered  in  his  loyalty  to  the  Gonzagas,  or 
failed  to  keep  Isabella  informed  of  political  events, 
as  well  as  of  the  strange  experiences  and  adventures 

^  Luzio  in  Emporium,  1900,  p.  431. 

-t]     » 


that  he  met  with  in  distant  lands.  From  Spain  he 
sent  her  a  "  Treatise  on  the  History  of  Castile,"  which 
greatly  delighted  her,  when  she  was  spending  the 
summer  of  1515  at  Porto,  and  when  he  went  to 
England  as  papal  nuncio  at  the  close  of  the  year, 
he  wrote  a  whole  series  of  interesting  and  amusing 
letters,  in  which  he  describes  these  unknown  regions 
for  her  benefit.  Chiericati  was  certainly  fortunate  in 
the  moment  of  his  visit  to  our  shores.  He  came  to 
London  when,  early  in  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.,  the 
young  King's  accession  had  inspired  all  lovers  of 
learning  with  the  highest  hopes,  in  those  happy  days 
when  his  friend  Erasmus  of  Rotterdam  declared  that 
the  English  court  contained  more  persons  of  real 
knowledge  and  ability  than  any  university  in  Europe. 
The  Italian  nuncio  could  not  contain  his  amazement 
at  the  high  degree  of  civiHsation  and  culture  which 
he  found  in  this  barbarous  land.  His  letters  to  Isa- 
bella abound  in  praises  of  the  wonderful  King,  who 
could  sing  and  play  on  all  manner  of  instruments, 
who  was  so  gallant  a  rider  and  fine  a  soldier,  and  at 
the  same  time  governed  his  land  so  wisely,  and  was 
so  generous  a  friend  to  scholars — a  King  indeed,  as 
Erasmus  said,  who  might  well  bring  back  the  golden 
age.  Chiericati  spent  Palm  Sunday  with  King  Henry, 
and  was  charmed  with  the  youthful  monarch's  genial 
manners,  and  deeply  impressed  with  his  wisdom  in 
the  choice  of  his  minister,  the  Cardinal  of  York, 
who  governed  the  realm  with  such  prudence  and 
sagacity.  The  fame  of  the  Mantuan  court  had 
penetrated  even  to  this  far-off  corner  of  the  West. 
Henry  told  the  nuncio  there  were  no  horses  to 
equal  those  which  the  Marquis  had  sent  him  from 
his    stables,    and   which    he    always    rode   on    state 

174         HENRY    VIII.   AND   WOLSEY 

occasions,  and  expressed  the  greatest  satisfaction 
when  he  heard  that  Francesco  Gonzaga  was  training 
some  more  for  his  use.  His  Highness  also  set  great 
store  on  a  musician  from  Brescia,  who  had  been 
sent  to  his  court  with  a  recommendation  from  the 
Marquis,  and  was  desired  by  the  King  to  wait  on 
His  Excellency,  when  he  returned  to  Italy,  and  take 
him  Henry's  cordial  salutations.  Both  the  King 
and  his  brother-in-law,  the  Duke  of  Suffolk,  sent 
the  Marchesa  word  how  gladly  they  would  wel- 
come a  visit  from  one  of  her  sons,  and  Cardinal 
Wolsey  told  Chiericati  that,  if  it  pleased  Her  Excel- 
lency to  send  Federico,  or  either  of  his  brothers,  to 
England,  he  would  be  a  father  and  protector  to  the 
young  prince.  In  June  1517,  Count  Jacques  de 
Luxembourg,  accompanied  by  several  Spanish  cour- 
tiers and  prelates,  arrived  in  London  on  an  embassy 
from  Charles  V.,  to  invite  Henry  to  join  in  a  new 
league  with  him  and  the  Emperor.  The  nuncio 
was  present  at  the  magnificent  reception  given  to 
these  envoys  by  the  King,  who  wore  a  sumptuous 
robe  of  cloth  of  gold,  in  the  Hungarian  style,  while 
his  nobles  were  all  clad  in  gold  brocade,  and  wore 
the  finest  chains  and  collars  which  Chiericati  had 
ever  seen.  A  week  of  festivities  followed  ;  banquets 
were  given  by  the  Cardinal  and  Lord  Mayor,  and 
one  day  the  King  invited  the  ambassadors  and  the 
nuncio  to  dine  privately  with  him  in  the  Queen's 
rooms.  "  This,  I  am  told,  is  a  very  unusual  thing,"  re- 
marks the  writer.  "  The  King  himself  sang  and  played 
all  kinds  of  different  instruments  with  rare  talent,  and 
then  danced,  and  made  the  Count  dance,  and  gave 
him  a  fine  horse  with  rich  trappings,  and  a  vest  of 
gold  brocade  trimmed  with  sables,  worth  700  ducats." 


"  On  St.  Peter's  Day,"  continues  Chiericati,  "  all  the 
ambassadors  of  the  league  went  to  court,  and  the  King 
heard  mass  in  the  Capella  Grande  below,  and  wore  his 
royal  robes  of  brocade  and  ermine,  and  a  train  resplen- 
dent with  jewels,  carried  by  pages."  But  the  finest 
sight  of  all  was  the  tournament  held  on  the  Feast  of 
the  Translation  of  St.  Thomas  of  Canterbury,  in  a 
jpiazza  three  times  as  large  as  that  of  S.  Pietro  of  Man- 
tua, surrounded  by  walls,  with  tiers  of  seats  occupied  by 
thousands  of  spectators,  with  two  great  pavihons  of 
cloth  of  gold  on  either  side.  The  King  appeared  on 
horseback  in  a  white  damask  surcoat,  embroidered  with 
his  device  of  roses  in  rubies  and  diamonds,  with  a 
helmet  on  his  head,  and  a  richly  jewelled  breast- 
plate valued  at  300,000  ducats.  He  was  followed  by 
forty  knights  on  white  horses,  with  bridles  and  harness 
of  pure  silver,  worked  in  niello  with  the  King  and 
Queen's  initials  and  devices,  upon  which  aU  the  gold- 
smiths in  the  city  had  been  employed  for  the  last 
four  months.  *'  The  Duke  of  Suffolk  [Suforche  in 
the  nuncio's  speUing]  rode  out  at  the  head  of  a 
similar  troop  from  the  opposite  pavilion,  and  when  he 
met  the  King  in  single  fight,  we  seemed  to  see  Hector 
and  Achilles.  After  this  encounter,  the  King  took 
off  his  armour  and  appeared  in  blue  velvet,  em- 
broidered with  gold  bells,  attended  by  twenty-four 
pages  in  the  same  livery,  and  rode  before  the  Queen 
on  a  very  tall  white  horse,  prancing  and  leaping  as 
it  went,  and  when  he  had  tired  out  one  horse,  he 
went  back  to  his  tent  and  mounted  another."  ^ 

The  banquet  which  followed  in  the  Palace  of 
Whitehall  was  on  a  magnificent  scale ;  the  gold  and 
silver   plate   piled   on   the   sideboards  was   worth   a 

1  B.  Morsolin,  F.  Chkncati,  pp.  124-237. 

176      WISE   RULE   OF   HENRY    Vlll. 

king's  ransom,  and  every  variety  of  meat,  poultry, 
game,  and  fish  was  served  at  table.  All  the  dishes 
were  borne  before  the  King  by  figures  of  elephants, 
panthers,  tigers,  and  other  animals,  admirably  de- 
signed ;  but  the  finest  things  in  Chiericati's  eyes 
were  the  jeUies  made  in  the  shape  of  castles,  towers, 
churches,  and  animals  of  every  variety,  "as  beauti- 
ful and  closely  copied  as  possible."  "  To  sum 
up,"  he  adds,  "  most  illustrious  Madama,  here  in 
England  we  find  all  the  wealth  and  delights  in  the 
world.  Those  who  call  the  English  barbarians  are 
themselves  barbarians  I  Here  we  see  magnificent 
costumes,  rare  virtues,  and  the  finest  courtesy.  And, 
best  of  all,  here  we  have  this  invincible  King,  who  is 
endowed  with  so  many  excellent  virtues  that  he 
seems  to  me  to  surpass  all  others  who  wear  a  crown 
in  these  times.  Blessed  and  happy  is  the  country 
which  is  ruled  by  so  worthy  and  excellent  a  prince ! 
I  would  rather  live  under  his  mild  and  gentle  sway 
than  enjoy  the  greatest  freedom  under  any  other 
form  of  government  I "  ^ 

In  a  postscript  to  this  long  letter,  dated  the  10th  of 
July  1517,  the  nuncio  informs  Isabella  that  the  King 
and  Queen  are  leaving  London  to  spend  the  summer 
in  the  country,  and  that  he  and  his  suite  are  going  to 
Hibernia  to  see  the  Purgatory  of  St.  Patrick  and  all 
the  other  wonderful  things  in  that  island,  of  which  he 
has  heard  so  much,  and  which  he  will  describe  to  her 
on  his  return.  It  was  many  weeks,  however,  before 
Chiericati  was  able  to  fulfil  his  promise,  and  when  he 
did  so,  he  was  obliged  to  confess  that  the  experiences 
which  he  had  met  with  in  Ireland  were  hardly  those 

1  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cU. 


which  he  had  expected  to  find  in  the  Island  of  the 

"  You  must  know,"  he  wrote  from  Middelburg  in 
Zeeland  on  the  28th  of  August,  "  that  we  left  London 
with  letters  from  the  King,  and,  after  travelling  five 
days,  reached  a  city  called  Chmstra  [Chester],  and 
crossed  the  sea  in  a  day  and  night  to  Dublino^  one  of 
the  three  metropolitan  cities  of  Hibernia.  It  is  full 
of  people  and  ships,  which  export  salt  fish,  leather, 
horses,  and  cattle,  and  take  back  wine  and  merchan- 
dise. Here  we  were  courteously  entertained  by  the 
Archbishop  and  the  Count  of  Childaria  [Kildare], 
the  viceroy  of  the  island,  and  went  on  with  letters 
from  them  to  Doi'da  [Drogheda],  a  city  in  a  pleasant 
plain,  and  five  miles  further  to  Doncalch  [Dundalk], 
once  a  famous  city,  but  now  in  ruins.  After  another 
day's  journey  of  twenty-four  miles,  we  reached  Arma- 
cana  [Armagh],  the  seat  of  the  primate,  which  has 
an  abbey  of  canons,  but  is  very  desolate.  Here  you 
find  yourself  in  the  midst  of  savage  people,  and 
leaving  the  sea,  begin  to  enter  the  hills.  Twenty 
miles  further  we  reached  the  walled  city  of  Clochere 
[Clogher],  which  is  full  of  thieves,  and  twelve  miles 
from  that  another  town  called  Omagh,  also  full  of 
thieves.  Then  we  entered  Tyrone,  a  country  full  of 
forests,  lakes,  and  swamps,  where  the  dominion  of 
England  ceases  and  a  native  count  reigns.  Here 
are  many  rivers  where,  in  May  and  June,  pearls  are 
found  hidden  in  the  oysters  on  the  rocks.  During 
those  two  months,  clouds  of  black  fog  settle  on  the 
rivers  in  the  early  morning,  and  when  the  sun  rises 
they  melt  into  dew,  and  if  by  accident  a  drop  falls 
into  an  open  oyster  it  congeals  into  a  hard  white 
substance.     These  are  those  pearls  which  are  called 

VOL.  II.  M 


Scottish  pearls,  and  the  people  find  so  many  of  them 
that  they  drive  a  thriving  trade.  Here  we  reached  the 
banks  of  a  lake  [Lough  Derg],  which  is  four  miles 
round  and  has  a  rocky  island  in  the  centre,  20  steps 
long  by  16  wide,  which  is  called  the  Purgatory  of  St. 
Patrick,  and  is  inhabited  by  three  canons.  By  sound- 
ing a  horn  and  waving  a  white  handkerchief  on  the 
end  of  a  pole,  we  summoned  one  of  the  canons'  two 
servants,  who  rowed  us  one  by  one  across  the  lake  in 
a  rude  bark  made  of  a  hollow  beech-trunk,  for  which 
we  paid  a  penny  each.  Here  we  landed  and  found  a 
little  oratory,  with  a  hut  and  tables  for  the  canons. 
In  front  of  the  church  door  are  the  three  cabins  of 
St.  Bridget,  St.  Patrick,  and  St.  Columba.  Behind, 
towards  the  east,  is  the  well  of  St.  Patrick,  a  cave  in 
which  the  saint  is  said  to  have  slept.  It  holds  twelve 
people,  and  has  an  iron  door ;  but  I  did  not  go  inside, 
fearing  to  see  terrible  things.  So  I  remained  outside, 
standing  three  steps  from  the  door,  and  the  canons 
went  in  with  two  pine  torches.  I  looked  at  the  roof, 
which  is  a  rock  like  a  mill  stone,  and  when  you  strike 
it  you  hear  an  echo,  and  this  has  given  rise  to  the 
fables  we  hear  about  St.  Patrick's  well.  Two  of  my 
companions  entered  the  cave  with  five  other  pilgrims, 
but  I  think  my  penance  was  worse  than  theirs,  as  I 
had  to  await  their  return  almost  ten  days  !  and  during 
that  time  I  consumed  the  greater  part  of  the  victuals 
we  had  brought  with  us.  On  the  day  of  your  arrival 
you  make  your  will,  if  you  have  anything  to  leave ! 
Then  you  confess  and  fast  on  bread  and  water  for 
nine  days,  and  visit  the  three  cabins  every  hour,  say- 
ing any  number  of  prayers.  And  you  have  to  stand 
in  the  lake,  some  up  to  the  knees,  others  half-way 
up  their  bodies,  and  some  up  to  their  necks!     At 

OF   ST.   PATRICK  179 

the  end  of  nine  days  you  hear  mass,  communicate, 
and  are  blessed  and  signed  with  holy  water,  and  go 
with  the  cross  before  you  to  the  gate  of  St.  Patrick's 
well.  Then  you  go  inside  and  the  door  is  closed, 
and  not  opened  until  the  next  day,  as  you  have  to 
stay  there  twenty-four  hours.  The  rock  is  pierced 
on  one  side  and  a  dish  with  food  is  put  in  through 
this  hole  by  one  of  the  canons,  who  stands  there  and 
exhorts  the  pilgrims  to  be  constant  and  not  to  be 
overcome  by  the  temptations  of  the  devil,  for  it  is 
said  that  all  manner  of  horrible  visions  appear  to 
them,  and  many  come  out  idiots  or  madmen,  because 
they  have  yielded  to  temptation.  Of  those  who 
entered  the  cave  when  I  was  present,  two  saw  such 
fearful  things  that  one  went  out  of  his  mind,  and  when 
he  was  questioned,  declared  that  he  had  been  beaten 
violently,  but  by  whom  he  did  not  know.  Another 
had  seen  beautiful  women,  who  invited  him  to  eat 
with  them,  and  offered  him  fruit  and  food  of  all 
sorts,  and  these  were  almost  vanquished.  The  others 
saw  and  felt  nothing  but  great  cold,  hunger,  and 
weakness,  and  came  out  half-dead  the  next  day. 
We  revived  them  as  best  we  could,  and  their  names 
were  written  in  a  book  kept  in  the  church,  which 
contains  the  names  of  all  the  pilgrims  who  go  there. 
The  first  name  I  read  was  that  of  Guarino  da 
Durazzo,  which  I  thought  must  be  fabulous,  but 
now  I  have  found  his  journey  described  in  an  ancient 
parchment  manuscript.  The  merit  of  entering  this 
Purgatory  is,  they  say,  that  you  not  only  receive  plenary 
indulgence,  but  that  through  the  grace  granted  to 
St.  Patrick  you  will  not  have  to  do  penance  for  your 
sins  in  another  world.  We  returned  by  the  same 
road  to  Armagh,  and  after  visiting  the  Abbey  of 


Verdelino  [Newry],  travelled  thirty-four  miles  further 
to  a  city  on  the  sea,  called  Don  [Down],  where  I  found 
a  bishop  who  comes  from  Viterbo,  an  old  man  of  114 
years.  His  church  contains  the  bodies  of  St.  Patrick, 
St.  Bridget,  and  St.  Columba,  and  here  we  made  a 
station  of  three  days  on  our  pilgrimage.  In  this  place 
I  could  not  walk  about  the  streets  without  being 
pursued  by  people,  who  came  running  out  of  their 
houses  to  kiss  my  clothes  when  they  heard  that  I  was 
the  Pope's  nuncio,  so  I  was  forced  to  stay  at  home. 
Such  is  the  annoyance  which  arises  from  over-much 
religion  I  But  the  good  old  bishop  treated  me  very 
kindly,  and  gave  me  some  excellent  fishing.  Here 
fish  are  so  plentiful  that  you  can  buy  a  salmon  of 
50  lbs.,  which  would  be  worth  a  great  deal  in  Italy, 
for  a  single  penny  I " 

After  visiting  the  stone  sepulchre  of  a  giant, 
48  feet  long,  and  a  spring,  sacred  to  St.  Patrick, 
which  possessed  miraculous  properties,  the  travellers 
returned  to  Dublin,  and  Chiericati  concludes  his 
letter  to  Isabella  with  the  following  summary  of  his 
general  impressions  of  Ireland  : — 

*'  The  Island  of  Hibernia  is  beyond  Scotland  and 
England,  and  is  a  third  larger  in  size.  The  air  is 
very  temperate  and  warmer  than  that  of  England, 
which  is  very  curious.  The  King  owns  about  a  third 
part  of  the  sea-coast ;  the  rest  of  the  country  belongs 
to  different  lords,  who  are  little  better  than  peasants. 
They  call  the  Pope  their  king,  and  stamp  the  keys 
and  triple  tiara  on  their  coins.  The  Count  of 
Childaria  is  the  chief  lord,  and  is  a  wealthy  man 
and  as  civilised  as  an  Englishman,  and  the  maritime 
cities  are  also  civilised.  The  country  is  poor,  and 
only   produces   fish,   cattle   and   chickens.      An   ox 

THE   IRISH  181 

is  worth  a  ducat,  a  pair  of  capons  are  sold  for  two- 
pence. Fish  are  hardly  worth  paying  for.  The 
people  are  clever  and  cunning,  and  very  warlike, 
and  are  always  quarrelling  among  themselves.  They 
live  on  oat-cake,  and  mostly  drink  milk  or  water. 
The  men  wear  cloth  shirts  dipped  in  saffron  from 
head  to  foot,  shoes  without  stockings,  and  a  grey 
cloak  {shernia)  and  felt  hat,  and  are  closely  shaven, 
excepting  on  the  chin.  The  women  are  very  white 
and  beautiful,  but  dirty.  They  wear  the  same 
saffron-coloured  shirts,  and  red  caps  a  la  Carmagnola 
on  their  heads.  They  are  very  religious,  but  do  not 
hold  theft  to  be  wrong,  saying  that  it  is  sinful  to 
have  property  and  fortunes  of  our  own,  and  that 
they  live  in  a  state  of  nature,  and  have  all  things 
in  common.  And  for  this  cause  there  are  so  many 
thieves,  and  you  run  great  risk  of  being  killed  or 
robbed  if  you  travel  without  a  large  escort.  In 
the  northern  highlands  the  people,  I  hear,  are  stiU 
more  savage ;  they  go  naked,  live  in  caverns,  and 
eat  raw  meat.  This  is  all  I  could  find  out  about 
the  Island  of  Hibernia  and  the  well  of  St.  Patrick, 
and  although  it  is  not  of  great  interest,  I  send  this 
account  to  Your  Excellency,  knowing  the  inquiring 
nature  of  your  mind,  and  that  you  not  only  like  to 
hear  important  things,  but  to  learn  the  smallest 
details  regarding  foreign  lands."  ^ 

On  his  return  to  London  early  in  August,  the 
nuncio  found  a  terrible  outbreak  of  the  sweating  sick- 
ness. This  mysterious  illness  attacked  some  persons 
quite  suddenly,  when  they  were  walking  and  riding  or 
travelling,  and  killed  them  in  twelve,  six,  or  even  four 
hours.    Nothing  but  corpses  were  seen  lying  about  the 

1  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cit. 


streets ;  many  members  of  the  Cardinal's  house- 
hold had  fallen  ill,  and  the  Venetian  ambassador 
was  among  the  victims.  But  what  grieved  him 
most  of  all  was  the  death  of  his  dear  friend, 
Ammonio  of  Lucca,  the  King's  Latin  secretary, 
who  was  carried  off  by  a  sudden  attack  that  week. 
"  Alas  I "  he  wrote  to  Mantua,  "  this  cruel  sickness 
has  robbed  me  of  him  in  the  short  space  of  eight 
hours,  and  I  am  torn  with  a  sorrow  and  anguish 
that  can  find  no  comfort."  Leaving  the  stricken 
city,  Chiericati  hastened  to  the  court  of  the  Catholic 
King,  at  Middelburg  in  Zeeland,  and  wrote  to  tell 
Isabella  he  hoped  soon  to  return  to  Italy  and  pay 
his  respects  to  her  in  person.  But  urgent  affairs 
forced  him  to  travel  straight  to  Rome,  whence  he 
was  sent  in  the  following  spring  to  Spain,  and 
witnessed  the  triumphal  entry  of  the  young  King 
Charles  V.  into  Barcelona.  After  sending  the 
Marchesa  glowing  accounts  of  the  lovely  gardens 
and  myrtle  and  orange  bowers  of  this  delicious 
land,  the  nuncio  went  on  to  the  south  of  France, 
where  he  met  the  Grand  Ecuyer,  our  old  friend 
Galeazzo  di  Sanseverino,  at  Montpelier,  in  April 
1519.  Later  in  the  summer  he  was  at  length  able 
to  obtain  a  brief  holiday  and  visit  his  friends  at 
Vicenza  and  Mantua. 

The  Marchesa  welcomed  Chiericati  warmly,  and 
acquired  much  valuable  information  from  him,  not 
only  concerning  his  travels  in  distant  lands,  but 
regarding  political  affairs.  He  promised  to  use  his 
influence  on  behalf  of  her  son,  both  with  his  master 
the  Pope,  and  with  the  new  Emperor,  Charles  V., 
who  was  supposed  to  look  coldly  on  the  young 
Marquis   as   an   ally   of  his   rival,  Francis    I.     The 

IN   ROME  183 

nuncio  succeeded  in  renewing  friendly  relations 
between  the  Gonzagas  and  this  powerful  monarch, 
and  on  his  return  to  Rome,  held  repeated  consulta- 
tions with  Castiglione  as  to  the  best  means  of 
advancing  his  master's  interests.  "  After  leaving 
Your  Excellency,"  he  wrote  to  Isabella,  on  the 
28th  of  September,  "  I  travelled  straight  to  Rome 
and  kissed  the  feet  of  the  Holy  Father.  His 
Beatitude  received  me  lovingly,  and  tells  every  one 
that  he  will  not  forget  my  labours.  May  God  keep 
them  ever  before  his  eyes.  I  have  written  to  His 
Catholic  Majesty,  as  well  as  to  Monseigneur  de 
Chievres  and  others  at  court,  and  told  them  that 
I  have  been  at  Mantua  and  found  Your  Excellency 
and  the  Lord  Marquis  wholly  devoted  to  His 
Majesty's  service,  and  gave  them  many  excellent 
reasons  for  retaining  the  friendship  of  your  State. 
I  was  obliged  to  write  in  this  strain  in  order  to 
remove  the  unfair  prejudice  which  had  arisen  in 
His  Majesty's  mind  against  Your  Excellency  and 
your  son.  And  I  said  the  same  to  His  Majesty's 
ambassador  here.  If  I  go  to  Spain,  I  will  not  fail 
to  let  you  know.  It  would  be  well  to  use  the  old 
cipher,  but  if  it  should  be  lost  by  any  accident,  I 
will  take  care  to  provide  another."  ^ 

Again,  on  the  26th  of  October,  Chiericati  wrote 
to  give  the  Marchesa  a  few  details  of  the  treaty 
between  Charles  V.  and  the  Pope,  begging  her  to 
keep  her  counsel  until  this  alliance  is  made  public, 
and  remarking  that  she  may  be  glad  of  a  few  scraps 
of  news,  although  she  has  so  able  and  diligent  an 
envoy  as  Castiglione  at  the  Vatican.  Cardinal 
Egidio,   he    also    informed    Her    Excellency,    con- 

1  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cit,  p.  l64. 


stantly  begged  to  be  remembered  to  her,  and  wished 
her  to  be  assured  of  his  readiness  to  serve  her  on 
all  occasions.  Fortunately  Pope  Leo  X.,  in  spite 
of  his  ambitious  designs  against  Ferrara  and  enmity 
to  the  house  of  Este,  always  retained  the  highest 
respect  for  the  Marchesa,  and  when  Castiglione  re- 
turned to  Mantua  in  November,  he  sent  her  a  Latin 
letter  expressing  his  unalterable  admiration  and  affec- 
tion for  her  person.  Undoubtedly  the  wisdom  and 
diplomacy  of  Isabella  proved  of  the  greatest  service 
to  her  son  and  State  during  these  early  years  of 
his  reign,  and  we  detect  the  results  of  her  influence 
at  the  Vatican  in  more  than  one  of  the  pohtical 
developments  which  marked  the  last  days  of  Leo 
%he  Tenth's  pontificate.  The  first  object  on  which 
Isabella  had  set  her  heart  was  the  elevation  of  her 
son  Federico  to  the  post  of  Captain-General  of  the 
Church.  The  second  was  the  restoration  of  her 
younger  nephew,  "Francesco  Sforza,  to  the  dukedom 
which  his  elder  brother  had  abdicated.  Ever  since 
the  second  conquest  of  Milan  by  the  French,  in 
1515,  the  chief  partisans  of  the  Sforzas  had  taken 
refuge  at  the  Mantuan  court,  and,  in  spite  of  the 
Gonzagas'  alliance  with  Francis  I.,  had  kept  up  secret 
communications  with  the  young  Duke  of  Bari,  a 
brave  and  spirited  prince  who  won  the  love  of  all 
his  brother's  old  subjects.^  The  hatred  in  which 
the  French  Viceroy,  Lautrec,  was  held  throughout 
Lombardy,  revived  the  hopes  of  the  Sforza  party, 
and,  from  his  exile  at  Trent,  Francesco  was  only 
awaiting  a  favourable  opportunity  to  return  and 
claim  his  own.  From  the  first,  Isabella  and  her 
son   secretly   embraced  their  kinsman's   cause,   and 

1  Bandello,  Novelle,  pt  i.  p.  28. 

AT   THE   VATICAN  185 

their  hopes  seemed  on  the  eve  of  fulfiknent  when, 
in  May  1521,  the  Pope  entered  into  a  secret  treaty 
with  Charles  V.  for  the  expulsion  of  the  French 
and  the  restoration  of  Francesco  Sforza. 

In  order  to  further  the  accomplishment  of  these 
designs,  Castiglione  w^as  again  sent  to  Rome  in  July 
1520.  Before  the  end  of  the  month,  he  informed 
Federico  that  His  Holiness  had  consulted  him  on  the 
advisability  of  appointing  his  master  Captain- General 
of  the  Church.  The  Pope  further  asked  him  who  would 
govern  Mantua  in  the  absence  of  the  Marquis,  upon 
which  Castiglione  replied  that  Madama  had  already 
shown  herself  perfectly  capable  of  administering  the 
State.  This  satisfied  His  Hohness  completely,  but 
he  enjoined  Castiglione  to  observe  the  strictest  secrecy 
and  allow  no  one  but  Madama  and  her  son  to  hear  of 
his  proposal.  In  January  1521,  the  agreement  was 
finally  drawn  up,  to  the  great  joy  of  Isabella,  who 
saw  the  fulfilment  of  her  fondest  hopes  in  the 
appointment  of  her  beloved  son  to  this  honourable 
post  at  so  early  an  age.  A  few  months  later,  the 
news  was  publicly  announced,  and  excited  the  greatest 
rejoicing  in  Mantua,  while  both  Isabella  and  Federico 
loaded  Castiglione  with  their  thanks  and  praises. 
The  Count  indeed  deserved  well  of  the  house  of 
Gonzaga,  and  his  success  in  public  affairs  was  the 
more  remarkable  because  of  the  heavy  private  losses 
which  he  suffered  at  the  time.  When  he  came  back 
to  the  Vatican  in  July,  he  wrote  to  his  mother  that  he 
could  hardly  believe  himself  to  be  in  Rome  without 
his  poor  Raphael,  and  before  he  had  been  there  a 
month,  his  charming  young  wife  Ippolita,  whom  he 
had  left  so  reluctantly,  died  a  fortnight  after  giving 
birth  to  her  third  child. 

186  DEATH    OF   HIS    WIFE 

On  the  20th  of  August,  the  poor  young  Countess 
sent  her  absent  husband  this  touching  Httle  note : — 

"  My  dear  Lord, — I  have  got  a  httle  daughter,  of 
which  I  think  you  will  not  be  sorry.  I  have  been 
much  worse  than  I  was  last  time,  and  have  had  three 
attacks  of  high  fever,  but  to-day  I  feel  better,  and 
hope  to  have  no  more  trouble.  I  will  not  try  to 
write  more,  lest  I  overdo  myself,  but  commend  myself 
to  you  with  all  my  heart. — Your  wife  who  is  a  little 
tired  out  with  pain,  your  Ippolita."^ 

Meanwhile  the  happy  father,  all  unconscious  of 
the  impending  blow,  wrote  cheerfully  to  his  mother, 
rejoicing  over  his  wife's  safety  and  asking  if  the 
child's  eyes  were  light  or  dark,  and  what  name  they 
proposed  to  give  her.  When  the  Count  wrote  this 
letter  his  wife  was  already  dead.  On  the  24th  of 
August  she  breathed  her  last,  to  the  consternation  of 
all  her  relatives  and  friends  at  Mantua.  The  Mar- 
chesa,  in  her  grief  and  sympathy  for  Castiglione,  sent 
a  courier  to  Rome  with  letters  to  Cardinal  Bibbiena, 
begging  him  to  break  the  news  as  gently  as  possible 
to  the  bereaved  husband,  and  then  deliver  the  letters 
of  condolence  which  she  enclosed  from  herself  and 
her  son.  "  I  know,"  she  wrote,  "  that  it  is  difficult  and 
almost  impossible  to  put  any  restraint  on  the  grief 
which  you  must  feel  at  the  loss  of  anjrthing  so 
precious  to  you  as  your  dearest  wife,  who,  as  you 
will  have  heard,  lately  passed  out  of  this  present 
world  into  immortal  life.  And  so  we  do  not  ask  you 
not  to  sorrow,  but  condole  most  sincerely  with  you, 
and  feel  ourselves  the  bitterest  distress  both  for  your 
sake  and  because  of  the  great  love  which  your  late 
wife  had  deservedly  won  from  us." 

^  Serassi,  Leitere  favi.  di  Castiglione,  i. 


When  the  Mantuan  courier  reached  Rome,  he 
found  the  Count  at  supper  with  Cardinal  Bibbiena, 
who  only  gave  him  a  business  letter  from  Federico, 
and  kept  back  the  others,  so  that  he  might  at  least 
spend  that  night  in  peace.  The  next  morning  the 
Cardinal  and  some  other  intimate  friends  went  to  the 
Count's  house  and  broke  the  news  to  him.  "We 
told  him  the  sad  news  as  best  we  could,"  wrote 
Bibbiena,  "and  Your  Excellency  will  understand 
how  great  his  distress  was — so  much  so,  indeed,  that 
not  one  of  us  could  keep  back  our  tears,  and  we  aU 
wept  together  for  some  time."  ^ 

"I  never  dreamt,"  Castiglione  wrote  the  next 
day,  "that  my  poor  wife  would  have  to  take  this 
journey  before  me.  God  have  pity  on  that  blessed 
soul,  and  may  He  not  leave  me  here  too  long  after 
her,  for  it  is  very  hard  to  see  her  die  first." 

After  the  first  shock  was  over,  the  Count  bore 
himself  bravely,  and  devoted  his  whole  energies  to 
public  affairs,  but,  as  Bibbiena  remarked  in  a  letter 
to  the  Marquis,  he  suffered  more  than  he  cared  to 
show,  and  the  memory  of  the  wife  whom  he  had  loved 
so  well  was  never  absent  from  his  mind.^  Before 
long  a  fresh  sorrow  overtook  him  in  the  death  of 
his  old  and  faithful  friend,  Cardinal  Bibbiena,  who 
expired  on  the  9th  of  November,  only  seven  months 
after  Raphael.  In  him  Isabella  also  lamented  a  gifted 
friend,  who  had  served  her  loyally  in  former  days,  and 
who  still,  in  spite  of  political  changes  and  conflicting 
interests,  professed  the  most  devoted  attachment  to 
her  person. 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  24-4. 

2  Serassi,  Lettere  fam.,  i.  15,  &c. 



nie  Court  of  Mantua  under  Federico — Visit  of  the  Marquis  to 
Venice — His  mistress,  Isabella  Boschetti — The  Marchesa  goes 
to  Loreto — The  Duke  of  Urbino  forced  to  leave  Mantua — 
Federico  leads  the  papal  troops  against  the  French — Capture 
of  Milan — Retreat  of  Lautrec — Death  of  Pope  Leo  X. — 
Cardinal  Gonzaga  aspires  to  the  Papacy — Election  of  Adrian 
VI. — Francesco  Maria  recovers  Urbino — Francesco  Sforza 
returns  to  Milan — Defence  of  Pavia  by  Federico,  and  defeat 
of  the  French  —  Isabella's  new  apartments  in  the  Corte 
Vecchia — The  Paradiso. 

The  accession  of  a  young  and  pleasure-loving  prince 
to  the  throne  produced  a  marked  change  in  the  court 
of  Mantua,  and  the  carnival  of  1520  was  celebrated 
with  revived  gaiety  and  splendour.  On  this  occasion 
the  chief  feature  of  the  festivities  was  the  performance 
of  Cardinal  Bibbiena's  "  Calandria  "  under  the  direction 
of  Castiglione,^  who  had  superintended  the  first  re- 
presentation at  Urbino  seven  years  before,  and  who 
did  not  leave  for  Rome  until  July.  In  May,  the 
young  Marquis  and  his  brother  Ercole  accompanied 
the  Duke  and  the  two  Duchesses  of  Urbino  to 
Venice  for  the  Ascension  fetes,  and  were  received 
with  great  courtesy  by  the  Doge  and  Senate. 
Federico  stayed  with  his  ambassador  in  Casa  Foscari, 
and  was  entertained  at  a  series  of  splendid  banquets, 
processions  of  boats,  and  illuminations,  given  by  the 
company  of  young  patricians  known  as  the  Immortals, 

^   D'Ancona,  Origini  del  Teatro,  ii.  397. 



to  which  he  had  been  lately  admitted.  Isabella,  how- 
ever, declined  to  join  the  party,  and  looked  coldly  on 
the  whole  proceeding.  For  her  son  insisted  on  taking 
with  him  to  Venice  his  great  favourite,  Isabella 
Boschetti,  the  fair  young  wife  of  his  kinsman,  Fran- 
cesco Gonzaga,  Count  of  Calvisano  ;  and  his  mistress, 
as  Sanuto  openly  calls  her,^  attended  mass  with  him 
in  S.  Marco  and  appeared  at  all  the  fetes.  This  is 
the  first  mention  we  find  of  this  lady,  whose  influence 
over  the  young  Marquis  proved  so  powerful  during 
the  next  ten  years,  and  caused  his  mother  so  much 

In  October,  the  Marchesa  herself  went  on  a 
pilgrimage  to  Loreto,  after  paying  a  visit  to  Ferrara, 
where  her  brother,  the  warlike  Cardinal  Ippolito,  had 
lately  died,  and  where  Alfonso  was  himself  ill  and 
harassed  by  the  Pope's  perpetual  intrigues  and  plots 
against  him.  Even  Isabella  and  Castiglione  were 
unable  to  effect  any  change  in  the  policy  of  Leo, 
who  looked  on  the  Duke  as  his  bitter  foe,  and  was 
bent  on  the  annexation  of  Ferrara  to  the  Papal  States. 
But  at  least  Castiglione  kept  Alfonso  aware  of  the 
Pope's  secret  designs  against  him,  and  his  cipher 
letters  to  Mantua  contain  repeated  warnings  and 
hints,  which  Isabella  promptly  conveyed  to  her 

Neither  did  Leo  the  Tenth's  resentment  against 
the  exiled  Duke  of  Urbino  show  any  signs  of  abate- 
ment. In  January  1521,  when  he  offered  Federico 
the  post  of  Captain-General,  he  insisted  that  this 
prince  and  his  family  should  leave  Mantua,  and 
although  Isabella  was  successful  in  obtaining  permis- 
sion for  her  daughter  and  sister-in-law  to  remain  in 

1   Diarii,  xxviii.  529,  &c. 

190  DEATH   OF   LEO   X. 

the  town,  Francesco  Maria  was  driven  to  take  shelter 
first  at  Venice  and  afterwards  at  Verona.  Castighone 
meanwhile  did  his  best  to  obtain  more  favourable 
terms  for  the  ducal  family,  and  wrote  to  assure 
Duchess  Elisabetta  of  his  unchanging  loyalty  and 
devotion  to  her,  "  remembering,"  he  said,  '*  that  the 
best  years  of  my  life  were  spent  in  your  service." 
The  good  Duchess  could  only  reply  that  she  placed 
her  trust  in  a  higher  Power  and  knelt  all  day  in  the 
churches  of  Mantua,  praying  God  to  bless  and  prosper 
her  nephew's  cause.^ 

In  August,  Federico  took  command  of  the  papal 
troops  and  joined  the  imperialist  general,  Prospero 
Colonna,  in  a  successful  campaign  against  Lautrec. 
On  the  19th  of  November,  Milan  was  seized  and  the 
French  retired  on  Cremona,  only  retaining  a  garrison 
in  the  Castello.  The  news  reached  Leo  X.  at  his 
villa  of  La  Magliana,  on  the  25th  of  November,  and 
filled  him  with  joy.  Already  he  formed  the  wildest 
schemes  for  the  advancement  of  his  family,  and 
spoke  openly  of  inducing  the  Emperor  to  confer  the 
duchy  of  Milan  on  Cardinal  Medici  in  the  place  of 
Francesco  Sforza.  But  the  next  day  he  caught  cold 
out  hunting,  and  showed  symptoms  of  fever.  On  the 
30th,  he  became  seriously  ill,  and  died  on  the  following 
evening,  at  the  early  age  of  forty-five.  There  was 
the  usual  outcry  that  the  Pope  had  been  poisoned, 
which  Castiglione,  who  was  at  La  MagUana  with 
him,  at  one  time  firmly  believed.  But  there  was  no 
ground  for  the  suspicion,  and  the  autopsy  of  the 
corpse  satisfied  the  doctors  that  death  was  due  to 
natural  causes. 

This  unexpected  event  excited  general  constema- 

^  Martinati,  Notizie  intorno  di  Castiglione. 


tion  among  the  late  Pope's  friends.  Not  only  had 
Leo  X.  left  300,000  ducats  of  debts,  but  the  pontifical 
jewels  and  plate,  the  tiaras  and  mitres,  even  the 
silver  dinner-services  of  the  papal  household  and  the 
costly  Flemish  tapestries  of  the  Sistina,  were  all 
pawned.  "  Never,"  wrote  the  Venetian  envoy,  "  has 
a  Pope  died  in  worse  repute."  And  Pasquino,  as 
the  Mantuan,  Alfonso  Facino,  informed  Isabella,  was 
equally  merciless.  "  Like  a  fox  Leo  X.  rose  to  power, 
like  a  Hon  he  reigned,  like  a  dog  he  has  died,"  were 
the  words  inscribed  by  some  wit  on  the  statue.  "  If 
1  were  to  describe  the  poverty  and  straits  to  which 
the  Cardinals'  College  is  reduced,"  wrote  Castiglione, 
"  no  one  would  beheve  me."  At  the  same  time  he 
greatly  lamented  the  Pope's  death,  and  assured 
Federico  that  he  had  lost  a  true  friend.  "  I  do  not 
think  Your  Excellency  quite  realises  the  great  loss 
you  have  sustained,  for,  if  I  am  not  greatly  mistaken, 
it  was  His  Holiness's  wish  and  intention  to  exalt  you 
to  the  highest  places.  But  God  has  shattered  all  our 
vain  plans."  And  he  concludes  by  urging  Cardinal 
Gonzaga  to  come  to  Rome  as  soon  as  possible,  since 
his  arrival  may  lead  to  great  results.^ 

But  there  were  others  nearly  related  to  Federico 
who  rejoiced  with  unfeigned  satisfaction  at  the  Pope's 
death.  The  Duke  of  Ferrara  hailed  the  news  with 
joy  and  struck  medals  with  the  motto.  Ex  ore 
Leonis — "  Out  of  the  Hon's  mouth  " — to  commemo- 
rate his  deliverance,  and  set  to  work  immediately  to 
recover  the  cities  of  which  the  Pope  had  deprived 
him.  The  Duke  of  Urbino  was  still  more  prompt  in 
his  action.  He  was  at  Maguzano  on  the  Lake  of 
Garda,  spending   the   weary   hours   of  his   exile   in 

*  Contiiij  Castiglione,  Lettere  diplomatiche. 


enforced  idleness,  when  the  news  reached  him. 
Without  a  moment's  delay  he  hurried  back  to 
JNIantua,  raised  what  troops  and  money  he  could  get 
together  with  the  help  of  the  Marchese  and  the 
Duke  of  Ferrara,  and  hastened  to  Urbino,  "  called 
back/'  says  Guicciardini,  "by  the  love  of  his  sub- 
jects."^ They  rose  in  arms  with  one  accord,  drove 
out  the  papal  governor,  and  welcomed  their  old  ruler 
back  with  shouts  of  "  Feltre  I  Feltre  I  "  The  good 
news  soon  reached  Mantua,  and  Elisabetta  felt  that 
her  best  prayers  were  answered,  and  mingled  her  tears 
of  joy  with  those  of  Leonora  and  her  mother.  On 
the  18th  of  December,  Isabella  was  able  to  congratu- 
late her  son-in-law  on  his  triumphant  restoration,  and 
a  few  days  later  Castiglione  wrote  to  her  from  Rome : 
"  I  hear  that  the  Duke  of  Urbino  has  recovered  his 
whole  State  and  entered  Pesaro  without  opposition. 
God  grant  that  he  may  remain  there  long  ! "  ^ 

The  Pope's  death  had  the  effect  of  checking  hos- 
tilities for  a  time  in  Lombardy.  The  papal  army 
melted  away,  and  Federico  Gonzaga  was  forced  to 
advance  money  for  the  payment  of  the  small  force 
which  he  managed  to  keep  together  in  Milan. 
Francis  I.,  who  had  always  retained  a  feeling  of 
friendship  for  the  young  Marquis,  and  had  sent  him 
the  collar  of  S.  Michel  on  his  accession,  took  advan- 
tage of  the  difficult  position  in  which  he  was  placed, 
to  invite  him  to  enter  his  service.  Federico  court- 
eously declined  the  offer,  but  seems  to  have  felt 
some  hesitation,  and  consulted  his  mother  before 
breaking  off  negotiations  on  the  subject.  The  answer 
which  Isabella  sent  his  secretary,   Stazio  Gadio,  in 

1  Storia  d' Italia,  iii.  223. 
'  Serassij  Lettere  di  Negozi. 


cipher  is  highly  characteristic  of  her  wise  and  far- 
seeing  poUcy : — 

"  I  showed  our  illustrious  Madama  your  cipher 
despatch,"  wrote  Equicola,  who  had  followed  Fede- 
rico  to  the  wars,  but  finding  the  hardships  of  the 
camp  little  to  his  taste,  had  obtained  leave  to  return 
home.  "  She  had  already  heard  most  of  its  con- 
tents from  Signor  Federico  himself,  who  informed 
her  of  the  eagerness  with  which  the  French  are 
seeking  our  lord's  alliance.  She  feels  the  greatest 
pleasure  in  seeing  our  Signor,  her  son,  so  highly 
esteemed  and  sought  after  by  so  many  great  powers, 
which  is  a  clear  sign  that  both  his  own  merits  and 
the  importance  of  his  person  and  State  are  recognised. 
But  she  is  strongly  of  opinion  that  he  should  form 
no  new  alliance  until  the  creation  of  the  new  Pope, 
because  that  will  best  decide  our  future  course  of 
action.  Her  Excellency  hopes  that  her  son  may 
be  able  to  continue  in  the  service  of  the  Church, 
especially  if  the  Pope  is  allied  with  the  Emperor, 
as  he  has  been  of  late,  because  the  Church  will 
doubtless  in  the  end  prove  victorious,  and,  even  if 
defeated,  will  always  be  respected,  and  she  considers 
this  alliance  to  be  the  safest  for  this  State.  Of  course, 
if  a  new  Pope  is  elected  from  whom  we  could 
not  hope  for  the  protection  and  office  which  our 
lord  received  from  Pope  Leo,  of  blessed  memory, 
we  must  seek  for  new  allies  without  delay.  But 
Madama  certainly  thinks  that  the  new  Pope,  who- 
ever he  may  be,  is  sure  to  esteem  the  person  of 
your  Signor  highly,  because  of  his  past  services 
and  because  it  has  been  seen  in  the  past  how  im- 
portant the  Marquis  of  Mantua  is  to  the  Church. 
This,  Madama  tells  me,  is  her  opinion,  which  I  send 

VOL.  II.  N 


you,  agreeably  to  the  wishes  of  our  Signor,  to  whose 
favour  I  commend  myself,"  &c.^ 

When  the  Marchesa  dictated  this  letter,  all  eyes 
were  turned  to  Rome,  where  the  Conclave  had 
already  met  and  the  election  of  the  new  Pope  was 
hourly  expected.  On  hearing  of  Leo  the  Tenth's 
death.  Cardinal  Giulio  Medici,  the  late  Pope's 
nephew,  and  the  warlike  Swiss  prelate,  Cardinal 
Schinner,  both  left  the  camp  of  the  League  at  Milan, 
and  hurried  to  Rome.  Cardinal  Gonzaga  followed 
Castiglione's  advice  and  travelled  thither  as  fast  as 
his  gouty  legs  would  carry  him.  Sigismondo,  strange 
as  it  may  seem,  was  one  of  the  eighteen  candidates 
for  the  Papacy  on  this  occasion.  A  shrewd  politi- 
cian and  genial  man  of  the  world,  the  Mantuan 
Cardinal  had  always  been  noted  for  his  secular 
habits.  As  long  ago  as  1498,  when  Lodovico  Moro 
came  to  Mantua,  Capilupi  begged  Isabella  to  see 
that  Monsignore,  her  brother-in-law,  shaved  his  beard 
and  appeared  in  public  in  his  ecclesiastical  habit,  or 
he  might  create  a  bad  impression.  In  later  years,  he 
was  described  by  the  Venetian  envoy  in  Rome, 
Marino  Zorzi,  as  very  fat,  a  martyr  to  gout,  and 
particularly  fond  of  eating  oysters.  Now  Pasquino 
openly  mocked  at  him  and  called  him  a  babbling 
fool.  But  he  was  popular  with  his  brother  cardinals, 
and  CastigUone  left  no  stone  unturned  to  promote 
his  interests.  His  correspondence  with  Isabella  while 
the  Conclave  was  sitting  shows  how  anxiously  she 
awaited  the  result  of  an  election  which  was  fraught 
with  issues  of  such  importance  to  her  house. 

"  Here,"  he  wrote,  "  opinions  as  to  who  the  new 
Pope  will  be,  differ  more  than  I  have  ever  known, 

^  D'Arco,  Notisie  d' Isabella,  p.  86. 


God  grant  things  may  turn  out  better  than  we 
expect.  ...  I  have  worked  day  and  night  in  order 
that  JNIonsignore  di  Mantova  should  attain  this  sup- 
reme rank,  and  I  have  spoken  with  all  of  the  Signori 
in  this  court,  and  although  I  am  little  skilled  in  these 
matters,  yet  from  having  had  some  acquaintance 
with  these  lords,  I  really  believe  that  if  I  had  been 
present  at  the  Conclave,  I  might  have  rendered  His 
Reverence  important  service.  But  if  it  is  God's  wiU 
that  he  shall  be  chosen,  he  will  need  no  help  from 

me Monsignore  dei  Medici  certainly  has  many 

friends,  but  several  among  them  have  proved  to  be 
enemies,  amongst  others  Cardinal  Colonna.  I  hear 
that  Signor  Prospero  has  written  him  a  letter,  secretly 
begging  him  to  oppose  Cardinal  dei  Medici  with  all 
his  might,  which  seems  to  me  a  piece  of  ingratitude."  ^ 
Never  had  party  spirit  run  so  high,  never  before 
had  so  many  different  candidates  been  put  forward. 
"There  is  marvellous  division,"  wrote  the  English 
envoy,  John  Clerk,^  to  Cardinal  Wolsey,  "and  we 
were  never  likelier  to  have  a  schism."  And  the  Im- 
perial Ambassador,  Don  Juan  Manuel,^  informed  his 
master  that  there  could  not  be  so  much  hatred  or 
as  many  devils  in  hell  itself,  as  there  were  in  the 
Sacred  College.  Cardinal  Medici,  whose  claims  were 
supported  by  all  the  younger  Cardinals  and  the 
Emperor,  was  \'iolently  opposed  by  Francis  I.,  who 
sent  the  College  word  that  if  this  "man,  who  had 
been  the  cause  of  the  war,  became  Pope,  he  and  his 
whole  kingdom  would  refuse  to  obey  the  Church." 
Henry  VIII.  tried  in  vain  to  obtain  Wolsey 's  elec- 

1  Serassi,  Lettere,  i.  3-5. 
*  Brewer,  Letters,  in.  pt.  iL 
8  Bergenroth  Calendar,  370. 


tion,  and  when  the  opposition  of  the  Colonnas 
rendered  Cardinal  Medici's  prospects  hopeless,  he  and 
his  friends  supported  Cardinal  Farnese.  "  There  was 
a  report  yesterday,"  wrote  a  Mantuan  agent  to 
Isabella,  "  that  Farnese  was  Pope,  and  his  house  was 
nearly  sacked  I  Several  couriers  set  off  with  the 
news,  but  it  turned  out  to  be  false,  and  when  his 
servants  were  seen  in  the  streets,  the  mob  jeered  at 
them,  and  cried  out,  *Make  room  for  the  Pope's 
servants  I '" ^ 

As  the  Conclave  prolonged  its  sittings,  the  popular 
excitement  grew  more  intense.  Party  spirit  ran  high, 
and  bets  were  freely  given  and  taken  on  the  chances 
of  the  different  favourites.  "  To-day,"  wrote  Abbot 
Lodovico  Gonzaga  to  Federico,  "  Farnese,  who  went 
up  50  per  cent,  two  days  ago,  has  gone  down  to 
18,  and  our  Cardinal  has  dropped  to  13  per  cent. 
My  dear  lord,  I  confess  I  am  much  afraid  of  the 
result.  To-day  there  is  great  murmuring  in  Rome, 
and  the  Cardinals  are  threatened  with  bread  and 
water  if  they  do  not  make  haste."  ^ 

When,  at  length,  on  the  9th  of  January,  the 
election  of  Adrian  of  Utrecht,  Cardinal  of  Tortosa, 
the  Emperor's  former  tutor,  and  now  his  Viceroy 
in  Spain,  was  announced,  a  cry  of  rage  and  dismay 
burst  from  the  Roman  mob.  "  The  city,"  wrote  the 
Venetian,  "  is  full  of  weeping  and  curses."  JRoma  est 
hcanda  was  written  up  on  the  Vatican.  At  first  it 
seemed  almost  impossible  to  believe  that  a  "barba- 
rian," whose  name  was  almost  unlaiown,  and  who  was 
not  even  present  at  the  Conclave,  should  be  elected 
Pope.     The  Cardinals  themselves  could  not  explain 

1  Luzio,  Giom.  St.  d.  Lett.  It.,  xix.  83. 
«  Rid, 


tlieir  action,  and  slunk  home,  ashamed  and  dejected, 
amid  the  hisses  and  jeers  of  the  crowd.  Alone  among 
his  comrades  Cardinal  Gonzaga  preserved  his  com- 
posure, and  smilingly  thanked  the  mob  for  being 
content  with  curses,  and  not  revenging  their  wrongs 
with  stones  I  And  the  same  evening  he  addressed 
the  following  letter  to  Isabella : — 

"  To-day  these  excellent  Cardinals  and  myself 
have  at  length  come  out  of  the  Conclave,  where 
we  have  spent  a  fortnight  in  the  greatest  discomfort 
and  fatigue,  both  of  body  and  mind,  owing  to  our 
endless  quarrels.  And  after  all  this,  we  have — no 
doubt  according  to  the  will  of  God,  since  all  is 
ordered  by  Him — elected  a  Pope  who  is,  as  people 
say,  a  holy  man.  I,  for  one,  have  never  seen  him. 
As  for  my  own  disappointment,  I  did  my  best,  and 
cannot  complain  that  any  of  these  Cardinals  deceived 
me.  Only  this  unexpected  event,  which  was  never 
dreamt  of  by  me  or  any  one  else,  has  shattered  my 
hopes.  Just  when  I  felt  sure  of  reaching  the  desired 
end,  the  greater  part  of  the  Cardinals  went  and  gave 
their  votes  to  this  man,  simply  as  a  means  of  throw- 
ing them  away,  without  knowing  what  the  others 
were  doing,  and  when  all  the  votes  were  read  out, 
he  was  found  to  have  no  less  than  fifteen  1  My 
plans  have  not  succeeded.  No  I  and  I  caimot  pre- 
tend that  I  am  not  very  much  disappointed ;  but  at 
least  I  have  realised  the  esteem  in  which  I  am  held 
by  my  colleagues,  and  must  hope  for  better  luck 
another  time."  ^ 

Federico,  as  Captain-General  of  the  Church,  re- 
ceived the  news  of  Adrian  VI. 's  election  on  the 
same  day,  both  from  Don  Juan  Manuel,  who,  with 

^  Luzio,  op.  cit.,  xix.  8H. 


all  the  Imperial  party,  rejoiced  at  the  election  of 
their  master's  nominee,  and  from  the  disappointed 
candidate,  Cardinal  Medici,  who  wrote  a  hurried 
note  to  the  Marquis  as  he  left  the  Conclave,  giving 
the  new  Pope's  name  without  any  comment.  The 
last-named  prelate  was  anxious  to  keep  up  the  same 
friendly  relations  with  the  Gonzagas  as  before,  and 
Isabella  on  her  part  lost  no  opportunity  of  strength- 
ening her  son's  position.  Castiglione  succeeded  in 
obtaining  Federico's  confirmation  in  his  office  from 
the  new  Pope,  and  Adrian's  surrender  of  the  duchy 
of  Urbino  to  its  rightful  lord.  And  when,  in 
February  1522,  Cardinal  Medici  sent  a  confidential 
envoy  from  Florence  to  the  Emperor,  he  spent  a 
night  at  Mantua,  and  was  closeted  with  Madama 
la  Marchesana  during  more  than  two  hours.^  The 
Venetian  ambassador  reported  that  the  said  envoy, 
Giovanni  Matteo  dei  Medici,  was  sent  by  the  Car- 
dinal to  arrange  the  terms  of  the  agreement  between 
Florence  and  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  and  to  propose 
a  marriage  between  Francesco  Maria's  little  son 
Guidobaldo  and  Caterina,  the  infant  daughter  of 
his  old  rival,  Lorenzo  dei  Medici.  In  the  same  inter- 
view, he  adds,  Madama  eloquently  pleaded  the  cause 
of  her  brother  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  and  her  nephew 
the  Duke  of  Milan,  and  desired  the  Florentine  envoy 
to  lay  her  requests  before  the  Emperor.  The  result 
of  these  negotiations  soon  appeared  in  the  arrival  of 
Francesco  Sforza  at  Mantua.  Although  the  young 
Duke's  chancellor  Morone  had  taken  possession  of 
Milan  in  his  name,  he  himself  had  been  detained  at 
Trent  for  lack  of  money  and  troops  to  fight  his  way 
through  the   Swiss   mercenaries   in  the  pay  of  the 

*  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxxii.  457. 


French  king,  and  it  was  only  in  March  that  he  was 
strong  enough  to  descend  into  Italy.  On  the  12th 
of  March,  Castiglione  wrote  from  Rome  to  the 
Marchesa,  complaining  that  every  one  had  letters 
from  Her  Excellency  but  himself,  and  that  he  felt 
very  unhappy,  since  Madama  had  not  written  for 
a  thousand  years  !  "  God  grant,"  he  exclaims,  "  that 
your  secretaries  may  be  a  Httle  more  diligent  in 
future  I "  "I  rejoice  exceedingly,"  he  goes  on,  "  to 
hear  that  the  Signor  Marchese  is  soon  to  escort 
the  Duke  of  Milan  to  his  home,  which  is  here  held 
for  certain."  And  in  a  postscript  he  adds  that 
a  messenger  has  just  arrived  who  had  seen  the 
Signor  Duca  himself  in  Mantua.  "  God  send  us 
soon  news  that  the  French  are  beaten,  and  that  the 
Signor  Duca  is  not  only  at  Mantua,  but  in  Milan  I  "  ^ 
A  few  days  later  he  heard  that  the  Marquis,  at 
the  head  of  300  men,  had  escorted  his  cousin  to 
Pavia,  and  that  Francesco  Sforza  had  entered  Milan 
between  Prospero  Colonna  and  Antonio  de  Leyva, 
the  Captains  of  the  League,  and  had  been  received 
with  incredible  joy  and  love  by  his  father's  old  sub- 
jects. Lautrec  now  concentrated  all  his  forces  on 
Pavia,  which  was  valiantly  defended  by  Federico 
Gonzaga,  who  successfully  repulsed  a  determined 
assault  of  the  French,  and,  in  spite  of  the  small 
number  of  his  force  and  the  lack  of  artillery,  com- 
pelled them  to  retire  to  Monza.  On  the  27th  of 
April,  a  decisive  battle  took  place  between  Lautrec's 
army  and  the  forces  of  the  League  under  Prospero 
Colonna  and  the  Duke  of  Milan,  in  which  the  com- 
bined French  and  Swiss  troops  were  completely 
defeated.     After  this,  Lautrec  retreated  across  the 

^  Serassi,  op.  cit. 


Alps,  and  Cremona  and  the  Castello  of  Milan  were 
the  only  fortresses  which  remained  in  the  hands  of 
King  Francis.  Federico  acquired  great  fame  by  his 
brilliant  feats  of  arms,  and  was  welcomed  with  great 
rejoicing  on  his  return  to  Mantua  after  this  victorious 
campaign.  Isabella  received  congratulations  from  all 
sides,  and  could  not  contain  her  pride  and  joy  in  her 
son's  triumph. 

"  I  will  only  send  a  brief  reply  to  Your  Excel- 
lency's letter  to-day,"  wrote  Castiglione,  "for  I  think 
you  must  be  so  proud  and  happy  that  you  can  hardly 
care  to  read  my  letters,  or  those  of  any  one  else,  and 
that  with  good  reason,  since,  as  you  write,  you  have 
never  seen  the  Signor  Marchese  look  as  handsome 
as  he  does  now,  and  it  is  certain  that  you  have  never 
before  seen  him  so  glorious  and  renowned.  If  His 
Excellency  wins  as  much  fame  in  the  next  ten  years 
of  his  life  as  he  has  done  in  the  last  ten  months, 
the  world  will  hardly  be  able  to  contain  his  glory. 
Never  have  I  heard  a  youth  in  ancient  or  modern 
times  praised  as  he  is  to-day.  God  grant  others  may 
follow  in  his  steps,  and  then  not  only  Mantua,  but  all 
Italy  will  have  much  to  glory  in  I "  ^ 

Fortune  seemed  indeed  just  then  to  smile  on 
Isabella,  and  her  dearest  hopes  were  crowned  with 
success.  In  May  the  Duchesses  of  Urbino  returned 
to  Urbino.  Leonora's  young  son  Guidobaldo  was 
left  at  Mantua  as  a  hostage  in  his  uncle's  hands, 
and  began  to  learn  Latin  and  to  read  Virgil  under 
his  grandmother's  watchful  eye.  For  a  time  peace 
was  restored  to  the  ill-fated  Milanese,  and  Isabella 
saw  with  joy  how  her  nephew  endeared  himself  to 
his  subjects.     Although  little  of  her  correspondence 

*  Serassi,  op.  cit. 

THE   DUKE   OF   MILAN  201 

with  Francesco  Sforza  has  been  preserved,  the  young 
Duke  remained  on  affectionate  terms  with  his  aunt, 
as  we  see  by  the  following  letter,  which  he  wrote  in 
reply  to  her  urgent  request  that  he  would  endeavour  to 
make  his  uncle  Alfonso's  peace  with  the  Emperor : — 
"  Most  Illustrious  Lady,  my  honoured  Aunt  and 
Mother, — The  other  day  I  received  a  letter  from 
Your  Excellency  which  gave  me  the  greatest  pleasure, 
only  I  was  quite  sorry  to  see  that  it  was  written  by 
your  own  hand,  for  you  ought  really  not  to  take  so 
much  trouble  for  me,  seeing  I  am  always  satisfied  with 
your  signature.  Since  then  Grossino  has  given  me 
Your  Excellency's  message,  and  I  am  exceedingly 
glad  to  hear  how  much  you  desire  to  see  your  illus- 
trious brother,  my  honoured  lord  and  uncle,  reconciled 
with  His  Cesarean  Majesty,  and  to  learn  that  you 
wish  me  to  do  my  best,  in  order  that  His  Majesty 
may  accept  the  Duke  as  his  loyal  servant  and 
receive  him  into  favour.  Your  Excellency  knows 
how  much  reverence  and  affection  I  bear  to  you,  and 
may  rest  assured  that  during  the  last  days  I  have 
done  my  utmost  in  this  quarter,  and  have  exerted 
myself  as  vigorously  as  if  it  had  been  on  behalf  of 
my  own  person  and  State.  I  wrote  both  to  the 
Viceroy  and  to  His  Majesty,  as  well  as  to  those 
particular  friends  of  mine  at  his  court,  who  are 
persons  of  great  influence,  and  will,  I  know,  do  their 
best,  and  I  feel  sure  that  the  Lord  Duke's  quarrel  will 
be  made  up  with  His  Majesty,  and  through  him  with 
His  Holiness.  If  I  had  not  desired  this  already  on 
my  own  account,  the  sense  of  Your  Excellency's  great 
anxiety  on  the  subject  would  be  enough  to  make  me 
promise  on  my  honour  to  do  my  utmost  both  with 
His   Caesarean  Majesty   and   in   the   other   quarter. 

202  AND   HIS   AUNT 

But  this  is  both  my  duty  and  my  inclination,  and 
I  desire  the  settlement  of  the  Lord  Duke's  affairs  as 
sincerely  as  that  of  my  own.  I  remember  who  my 
father  and  mother  were,  and  desire  the  good  of  the 
house  of  Este  as  much  as  I  care  for  the  prosperity  of 
the  house  of  Sforza.  Could  I  ever  wish  that  State 
should  belong  to  the  Church  and  the  name  of  that 
house  be  extinct?  Certainly  not.  My  mother,  of 
blessed  memory,  was,  I  know  well,  your  sister,  and  I 
am  not  ashamed,  but  very  proud,  as  I  may  well  be,  of 
having  had  such  a  mother.  Grossino  tells  me  that 
Your  Excellency  begs  me  to  put  away  and  forget 
any  disagreement  there  may  have  been  in  the  past 
between  the  Duke  and  myself.  But  there  has  never 
been  anything  of  the  kind  which  could  make  me  wish 
for  his  ruin.  It  is  no  doubt  true  that  I  wish  His 
Excellency  would  become  the  servant  of  the  Emperor 
and  not  of  the  King  of  France  ;  but  whether  this, 
which  I  hope  to  see  ere  long,  be  the  case  or  not,  I 
assure  you  that  His  Excellency  is  as  much  the  master 
of  my  State  as  of  Ferrara,  and  that  I  honour  him 
with  the  respect  of  a  son  for  his  father  and  lord. 
Your  Excellency  knows  that  I  am  ever  your  obedient 
nephew,  son,  and  servant,  and  I  humbly  commend 
myself  to  you.  —  Francesco,  Duke  of  Milan."* 
Pavia,  August  12,  1520. 

On  a  subsequent  occasion,  when  the  Marchesa 
had  an  unfortunate  difference  with  her  son,  who  had 
thrown  one  of  her  confidential  servants,  Leonello 
Marchese,  the  lawyer  who  had  made  her  husband's 
will,  into  prison  to  gratify  his  mistress,  Isabella 
Boschetti,  she  sent  the  novelist,  Matteo  Bandello, 
to  entreat  the  Duke  of  Milan  to  use  his  influence 

1  Luzio,  Archivio  St.  Lombardo,  1901,  p.  170. 


with  his  cousin  on  behalf  of  the  innocent  man. 
Francesco  promptly  complied  with  her  request,  and 
sent  the  wisest  and  most  able  jurist  at  Milan,  Bene- 
detto Tonso,  back  with  Bandello  to  Mantua  to  ask 
for  Marchese's  release.^ 

In  after  years  Isabella  herself  was  able  to  render 
her  nephew  important  services  and  help  him  to  re- 
cover the  Emperor's  favour  at  a  critical  moment. 
For  the  present,  however,  Italy  enjoyed  a  brief 
interval  of  peace,  and  Isabella  was  once  more  able  to 
put  poUtical  affairs  aside  and  turn  her  attention  to 
pleasanter  subjects.  One  of  these  was  the  decoration 
of  her  new  apartments  in  the  Corte  Vecchia.  A  year 
after  her  husband's  death,  Isabella,  who  had  long  felt 
cramped  in  the  small  rooms  of  the  Castello,  obtained 
her  son's  consent  to  move  into  the  Corte  Vecchia, 
where  she  already  kept  her  library  and  works  of  art 
in  the  Grotta  on  the  ground  floor.  Federico  on  his 
part  was  glad  to  occupy  the  Castello  himself,  and  in 
October  1520  he  addressed  the  following  letter  to  his 
cousins,  the  sons  of  Gianfrancesco  and  Antonia  del 
Balzo.  These  three  princes — Lodovico,  who  after  his 
wife's  death  took  orders  and  became  known  as  the 
Abate  Gonzaga  ;  Federico  of  Bozzolo,  the  gallant 
captain  in  the  service  of  Francis  I. ;  and  Pirro,  the 
lord  of  Gazzuolo — had  hitherto  been  allowed  the  use 
of  a  palace  in  Mantua,  close  to  the  Castello.  This 
house  the  Marquis  now  asked  them  to  give  up  to  the 
Duke  and  Duchesses  of  Urbino,  in  order  to  leave  the 
Corte  Vecchia  free  for  his  mother's  use.  "As  you 
may  already  know,  our  illustrious  mother  has  for 
several  months  past  wished  to  lodge  for  the  future  in 
the  Corte  Vecchia,  both  for  her  convenience  and  for 

^  Bandello,  Novelle,  pt  ii.  56. 


our  own,  and  has  had  the  rooms  in  this  building 
repaired  and  altered  after  her  own  taste  in  the  best 
and  most  suitable  manner.  One  thing,  however, 
which  is  of  great  importance,  still  remains  to  be 
settled.  That  is  to  provide  rooms  for  the  illustrious 
Duke  and  Duchesses,  our  honoured  brother-in-law, 
nephew,  aunt,  and  sister,  because  it  is  impossible  that 
all  of  these  different  households  should  occupy  the 
same  palace  as  that  of  the  said  Madama,  our  mother, 
without  inconveniencing  each  other.  After  much 
consultation  on  the  subject,  Madama  and  we  our- 
selves feel  that  the  only  place  suitable  for  the  said 
Duke  and  Duchesses  is  the  palace  which  Your  High- 
ness occupies  in  the  Piazza  di  Mantova,  together 
with  your  illustrious  brothers,  to  whom  I  am  writing 
the  same  thing.  And  since  we  desire  the  comfort  of 
Madama,  our  mother,  above  all  else,  and  are  far  more 
anxious  for  this  than  for  our  own  convenience,  we 
pray  Your  Highness  to  have  the  goodness  to  give  up 
the  said  palace." 

A  splendid  suite  of  sixteen  rooms  for  the  Mar- 
chesa's  use  was  accordingly  prepared  by  the  architect 
Viani  and  the  Mantuan  painter  Leombruno  in  the 
Corte  Vecchia.  To-day  only  the  so-called  Scalcheria 
retains  any  remains  of  the  original  decoration.  Here 
Leombruno,  who  had  been  sent  to  Rome  to  study 
the  works  of  Raphael  and  Michel  Angelo  under 
Castighone's  direction,  by  his  employers,  painted  a 
series  of  hunting  scenes  on  the  walls,  and  adorned 
the  ceiling  with  a  fresco  in  imitation  of  Mantegna's 
Sala  degli  Sposi.  But  on  the  frieze  of  the  coi^tile  or 
garden  court  opening  from  the  Grotta,  above  the 
delicately  carved  Ionic  pillars  and  niches,  adorned 
with  marble  mosaics,  which  held  Isabella's  choicest 


antiques,  we  may  still  read  the  following  inscription : 
^^  Isabella  Estensis,  regum  Aragonum  neptis,  ducum 
Ferrarice  Jilia  et  soror,  Marchioruvi  Gonzagarum  con- 
jux  et  mater, fecit  anno  a  partu  Virginis,  MDXXII." 
From  this  we  learn  the  exact  date  of  these  additions  to 
the  Grotta,  which  were  evidently  completed  in  1522. 
To  the  same  period  we  may  ascribe  the  beautiful 
suite  of  Camerini  on  the  upper  floor  of  the  same  build- 
ing, known  as  the  Paradiso,  from  the  lovely  views 
which  it  commands  over  the  terraced  gardens  and  wide 
lakes.  These  four  little  rooms  which  Isabella  kept 
for  her  private  use  still  retain  much  of  their  original 
decoration — ^the  finely  carved  wood-work,  the  azure 
and  gilding  of  the  ceiling,  the  delicately  inlaid  panelling 
of  the  walls,  and  the  doors  of  richly  coloured  marbles. 
Here,  between  intarsiatura  views  of  cities  and  palaces, 
we  recognise  her  favourite  devices  and  mottoes,  the 
musical  notes  and  rests,  and  the  words  Nee  spe  nee 
metUy  which  supplied  Equicola  with  a  subject  for  his 
treatise,  the  altar  supporting  a  lyre,  the  candelabra 
with  the  letters  U.T.S.,  which  Paolo  Giovio  interprets 
as  Unum  sufficit  in  tenehris,  and  the  Lotto  cards 
with  the  mystic  number  XXVII.,  vinti  sette,  signify- 
ing that  she  had  vanquished  all  her  foes — which 
motto,  adds  the  Bishop  of  Nocera,  "  seems  allowable 
in  so  great  a  princess."^  Here  we  see  the  white 
marble  door  adorned  with  medallions  of  antique 
myths,  of  Orpheus  and  Athene  and  Calliope,  by 
the  hand  of  the  great  sculptor  Cristoforo  Romano, 
which  was  brought  here  from  the  Marchesa's  Studio 
in  the  Castello,  as  weU  as  another  marble  door  of 
later  workmanship,  which  was  probably  executed  by 
the  Venetian  Tullio  Lombardo  in  1523.     And  here 

'  Paolo  Giovio,  Delle  Imprese,  p.  59- 


too  we  may  still  find  Isabella's  name,  repeated  at 
intervals  upon  the  panelled  frieze,  and  remember 
that  the  peaceful  days  of  her  declining  years  were 
spent  in  these  sunny  little  rooms  looking  over  the 
bright  waters  to  Virgil's  birthplace,  and  the  green 
meadows  through  which  the  Mincio  flows  to  join 
the  Po.^  The  decoration  of  these  new  apartments 
occupied  a  large  share  of  Isabella's  time  and  thoughts 
in  these  years.  We  find  her  writing  to  Rome 
and  Venice  for  marbles,  asking  her  agents  to  send 
her  antique  busts  and  bas-reliefs,  and  collecting 
works  of  art  with  all  her  old  energy.  Castiglione,  as 
usual,  was  one  of  her  chief  assistants,  and  his  letters 
from  Rome  were  by  no  means  exclusively  devoted  to 
State  affairs.  One  day  he  sends  her  a  full  account  of 
the  carnival  fetes  and  comedies  at  the  Vatican,  cold  and 
lifeless  as  he  confesses  them  to  have  seemed  to  him 
this  year ;  another,  he  collects  the  latest  and  most 
scurrilous  verses  of  Pasquino  for  her  benefit,  or 
tells  her  how  Bandello's  friend,  the  witty  story-teller, 
Strascino,  has  been  amusing  His  Holiness  with  his 
comic  recitations,  and  is  promptly  desired  to  send 
him  to  Mantua  for  the  next  carnival.  At  one  time 
he  tells  her  of  a  reUef  which  Caradosso,  questo  mala- 

1  Some  years  ago,  a  model  of  Isabella  d'Este's  Studio  in  this 
apartment  of  the  Paradiso,  designed  by  the  well-known  French 
writer  M.Charles  Yriarte,was  placed  in  the  Italian  Court  in  the  South 
Kensington  Museum.  The  decorations  of  the  walls  and  ceiling  are 
carefully  reproduced,  but  M.  Yriarte  was  mistaken  in  supposing 
that  the  fine  tempera  paintings  by  Mantegna,  Costa  and  Perugino 
ever  adorned  these  Camerini.  These  pictures  were  originally  exe- 
cuted for  Isabella's  Studio  of  the  Grotta  on  the  ground  floor  of  the 
Corte  Vecchia,  and  remained  there,  as  we  know  from  inventories 
and  documents  published  by  D'Arco  (^Arte  e  Artefici,  ii.),  until  after 
the  sack  of  Mantua  in  l630. 

[I'hoto,  rrciiii,  Maiitiui,. 


[To  Jace  p.  206,  vol.  ii. 


detto  vecchio,  promised  him  long  ago,  but  has  not 
yet  finished.  "I  go  to  see  him  every  day,  and  he 
works  at  the  design  all  the  while,  and  says  he 
wishes  to  make  it  as  beautiful  as  possible,  because  it 
is  the  last  that  he  will  ever  do  in  his  life,  and  he  is 
so  old,  this  may  well  be  the  case."^  Another  day 
he  describes  a  wonderful  alabaster  organ,  a  most  ex- 
cellent work,  which  he  has  succeeded  in  buying  for 
600  ducats,  and  hopes  to  send  her  if  it  is  possible  to 
find  a  sufficient  number  of  mules  to  convey  the  pre- 
cious instrument  to  Mantua.  But  he  must  take  care 
to  elude  the  custom-house  officers  of  Rome,  who  are 
the  greatest  rogues  in  the  world,  and  ask  no  less  than 
200  ducats  I  "  If  I  can  manage  this,"  he  remarks,  "  I 
think  I  shall  have  worked  a  miracle  I "  But  the 
Count  was  indefatigable  where  his  mistress's  pleasure 
was  concerned,  and  by  the  end  of  August  1522,  the 
different  portions  of  the  organ  were  loaded  on  the 
backs  of  ten  mules,  and  sent  to  Mantua,  in  the  charge 
of  the  "  master  of  organs  "  who  had  made  the  instru- 
ment. We  do  not  hear  if  the  papal  officials  exacted 
the  whole  of  their  200  ducats,  or  if  Castiglione  was 
able  to  obtain  an  exemption  in  the  Marchesa's  favour, 
but  the  alabaster  organ  reached  Mantua  safely,  and 
was  placed  in  the  Studio  of  the  Grotta.^ 

All  through  that  year  the  works  in  the  Castello 
were  in  progress,  and  while  the  Marquis  was  absent 
in  Lombardy,  Mario  Equicola  wrote  daily  reports 
of  the  latest  improvements  that  had  been  effected. 
"These  splendid  rooms  with  all  their  pictures  make  me 
feel,"  he  writes  in  February  1522,  "  as  if  I  were  hving 
in  the  days  when  the  Romans  raised  those  monu- 

*  Luzio,  Nuova  Antologia,  1896,  p.  308. 
2  Bertolotti,  Ariisti,  &c. 


ments  which  are  the  wonders  of  the  world  !  In  Your 
Excellency's  bedroom  are  four  tondi,  and  one  large 
panel  where  Fame  might  be  represented  between  War, 
Victory,  Virtue,  and  Hope.  In  the  Camera  della  Fede 
your  portrait  might  be  hung  with  representations  of 
ancient  heroes  who  have  kept  faith.  ..."  As  for  the 
stables  (always  an  important  part  of  the  Mantuan 
palace),  they  are  so  fine  that  he  wishes  he  were  a  horse 
to  live  there  I  and  suggests  that  Virgil's  line  should 
be  written  over  the  doors :  "  Hinc  bellator  equus 
campo  sese  arduus  infert."^ 

1  Luzio,  Giom.  St.  d.  Lett.,  1900,  p.  15. 



Ercole  Gonzaga — Isabella  tries  to  obtain  his  elevation  to  the 
Cardinalate  —  Consults  Castiglione  and  Trissino  as  to  the 
choice  of  a  tutor — Sends  Ercole  to  Bologna — He  attends 
Pomponazzi's  lectures — The  great  sceptic — His  "  Treatise  on 
Immortality"  burnt  at  Venice — Ercole's  life  at  college — M. 
Lazzaro  his  teacher — Death  of  Pietro  Pomponazzi — Veneration 
of  Ercole  Gonzaga  for  his  memory. 

While  Isabella  lavished  her  tenderest  affections  on 
her  eldest  son,  Federico,  she  did  not  neglect  her 
younger  children.  She  was  especially  anxious  to 
give  her  second  son,  Ercole,  who  was  destined  for 
the  Church,  and  already  showed  a  genuine  taste 
for  letters,  the  best  possible  education.  At  fifteen 
Ercole  was  consecrated  Bishop,  and  appointed  co- 
adjutor to  his  uncle,  Cardinal  Sigismondo.  But 
his  mother's  ambition  soared  still  higher,  and  in  the 
last  months  of  Leo  the  Tenth's  life,  she  made  great 
efforts  to  obtain  a  Cardinal's  hat  for  the  youthful 
prelate.  Several  letters  on  the  subject  passed  be- 
tween her  and  Castiglione,  and  only  a  week  before 
the  Pope's  death  the  Marchesa  renewed  her  request, 
and  desired  the  Count  to  inform  His  Holiness  that 
she  had  decided  to  send  Ercole  to  complete  his 
studies  at  the  University  of  Bologna.  The  sudden 
close  of  Leo  the  Tenth's  Ufe  put  an  end  to  these 
hopes.  Not  only  was  there  already  one  Cardinal 
in  the  Gonzaga  family,  but  among  the  reforms 
VOL.  IL  ^  o 


agreed  upon  by  the  Sacred  College  before  the  open- 
ing of  the  Conclave  there  was  an  express  stipulation 
that  no  Cardinal  was  to  be  elected  who  was  under 
thirty.  For  the  present,  therefore,  Isabella  devoted 
her  attention  to  her  son's  studies,  and  begged  Castig- 
Uone  to  find  him  a  tutor  in  Rome.  The  Count 
promised  to  do  his  best.  "  As  regards  the  choice 
of  a  tutor  for  Signor  Ercole,"  he  wrote,  "  I  will  do 
as  you  wish,  and  hope  the  tutor  will  not  be  so 
distinguished  that  the  pupil  will  not  be  able  to 
prove  himself  worthy  of  him  I "  But  his  attempts 
proved  unsuccessful,  and  he  had  to  leave  the  task  to 
other  friends. 

"  I  hope  next  to  hear  that  Signor  Ercole  has 
been  well  provided  with  a  tutor,"  he  wrote  in  May 
1522,  when  Federico's  triumphs  were  the  subject 
of  general  congratulation.  "  I  know  how  near  to 
Your  Excellency's  heart  this  wish  Hes,  and  I  con- 
fidently expect  this  will  add  to  the  praise  of  his 
illustrious  brother,  from  whom  I  hope  still  greater 
things.  May  God  prosper  these  princes  as  they 
deserve  ! "  ^ 

The  Marchesa  next  applied  to  her  old  friend 
Trissino  on  the  subject.  The  Vicentine  humanist 
had  risen  high  in  the  favour  of  both  Pope  and 
Emperor  of  late  years,  and  had  been  employed  by 
Leo  X.  on  several  deUcate  missions.  But  he  re- 
tained his  old  devotion  for  Isabella,  and  in  December 
1521,  sent  her  a  canzone  which  he  had  composed,  in 
Petrarch's  style,  in  her  honour,  saying  that  as  it  was 
the  custom  of  the  Greeks  to  offer  the  first-fruits  of 
their  genius  to  the  gods,  so  he  inscribed  this  canzone^ 
which  was   the  first-fruits   of  his  Muse,  to   her  as 

^  Serassi,  Leitere  di  Negozi. 


the  goddess  of  the  age.  In  these  verses  the  poet 
celebrated  the  charms  of  the  Marchesa,  and  sang 
of  her  golden  hair,  her  dark  eyebrows  and  bright 
eyes,  the  liUes  and  roses  of  her  complexion,  and  the 
exquisite  sweetness  of  her  voice,  with  a  flattery 
which  Isabella  herself  recognised  to  be  excessive. 
"Dearest  friend,"  she  wrote  in  answer,  "we  have 
read  the  learned  and  elegant  canzone  in  which  it 
pleases  you  to  honour  us  by  praising  us  much 
more  than  is  convenient,  but  since  this  is  a  licence 
allowed  to  poets — among  whom  you  are  foremost 
in  the  present  age — who  are  permitted  to  soar  be- 
yond the  limits  of  their  subject,  we  do  not  reject 
your  compliments,  but  thank  you  exceedingly  for 
the  canzone,  and  for  repeating  your  old  promise  to 
send  us  some  more  of  your  poetical  compositions. 
And  we  wish  your  Muse  all  the  ease,  peace  and 
tranquillity  that  are  needful  for  her  future  welfare." 

In  the  following  July,  when  Ercole's  future 
was  still  undecided,  the  Marchesa  begged  Trissino 
to  come  to  Mantua,  not  only  that  she  might  enjoy 
the  pleasure  of  his  conversation,  but  that  he  might 
give  her  the  benefit  of  his  advice.  "  One  of  our 
sons,  Ercole,"  she  continues,  "shows  great  intel- 
ligence and  takes  much  pleasure  in  study,  and 
what  pleases  us  especially,  and  we  take  to  be  a 
good  sign,  is  that  he  delights  in  the  conversation 
of  scholars.  We  should  hke  you  to  talk  to  him 
of  books,  and  give  us  a  faithful  report  of  the 
judgment  which  you  form  of  his  abilities,  and  tell 
us  if  it  seems  to  you  he  is  in  the  right  way  to  attain 
to  some  degree  of  perfection  in  letters,  which  ought 
not  to  be  difficult  for  one  of  his  studious  and  docile 
nature.     In  this  we  should  like  to  have  your  advice, 


which  will,  we  know,  be  as  wise  as  it  is  kind.  But, 
as  we  said  before,  we  do  not  wish  to  cause  you 
any  inconvenience,  and  although  we  ask  you  to  visit 
us  now,  we  hope  you  will  choose  your  own  time, 
as  the  matter  is  not  so  urgent  that  it  will  not  brook 
a  few  weeks'  delay.  But  we  should  be  glad  if  you 
could  send  us  word  when  you  hope  to  be  able  to 
come,  so  that  we  may  know  when  to  expect  you."  ^ 

Trissino  came  to  Mantua  in  October,  and  during 
his  visit  the  Marchesa  decided  to  carry  out  her 
original  intention,  and  send  her  son  to  complete 
his  studies  at  Bologna.  The  chief  reason  which 
prompted  this  determination  was  the  presence  of 
the  famous  scholar,  Pietro  Pomponazzi,  commonly 
known  among  his  pupils  as  Maestro  Peretto,  at 
this  university.  A  native  of  Mantua,  Pomponazzi 
had  grown  up  under  the  shadow  of  the  Gonzaga 
princes,  and  owed  much  of  his  success  to  their  pro- 
tection. In  1488,  the  Marquis  Francesco  had  re- 
commended him  to  the  Signory  of  Venice  for  the 
chair  of  philosophy  at  Padua,  and  when  that  uni- 
versity was  closed  during  the  wars  of  the  League 
of  Cambray,  he  obtained  a  similar  post  at  Ferrara 
through  the  Marchesa's  influence.  Since  1512,  he 
had  filled  the  chair  of  philosophy  at  Bologna,  where 
his  lectures  attained  a  world-wide  reputation.  Here 
four  years  later  he  wrote  his  famous  "  Treatise  on 
the  Immortality  of  the  Soul,"  in  which  he  boldly 
declared  that  the  truth  of  this  doctrine  was  incapable 
of  logical  proof,  and  had  never  been  maintained  by 
Aristotle.  This  startling  assertion  aroused  much 
debate  in  ecclesiastical  circles,  and  Pomponazzi's 
treatise    was    pubUcly    burnt    by    the    Franciscans 

*  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cit. 


in  Venice.  But  the  great  teacher  had  powerful 
friends  at  the  Vatican  in  the  persons  of  Cardinal 
Bibbiena  and  Bembo,  and  after  the  publication  of 
an  Apologia^  in  which  he  explained  his  meaning 
and  submitted  himself  to  the  Church,  the  clamour 
gradually  died  away.  This  Apologia^  which  ap- 
peared in  1518,  was  dedicated  to  Cardinal  Gonzaga, 
and  Isabella  now  gave  a  fresh  proof  of  her  con- 
fidence in  the  master  by  committing  her  son  to 
his  charge.  On  the  8th  of  December  1522,  she 
wrote  to  Pomponazzi  as  follows :  "  Dear  and 
honoured  Master, — Our  beloved  son,  the  Reverend 
and  Illustrious  Signor  Ercole,  is  coming  to  study 
at  Bologna,  and  although  we  know  that  you  will 
not  fail  to  give  him  faithful  counsel  and  guidance, 
so  that  he  may  attain  to  that  perfection  which  he 
seeks,  and  which  we  supremely  desire  for  him,  yet 
as  a  good  mother  we  cannot  fail  to  commend  him 
to  you  ourselves,  and  assure  you  that  the  good 
offices  which  you  show  him  shall  be  most  gratefully 
acknowledged  by  us."  ^ 

Three  days  afterwards,  Ercole  arrived  at  Bologna, 
and  wrote  to  his  mother  the  next  day,  with  all  a 
boy's  delight,  to  tell  her  of  the  kindly  reception  he 
had  met  with,  and  how  much  pleased  he  was  with 
the  excellent  rooms  which  her  loving  care  had 

"  Most  excellent  and  illustrious  Lady  and  dearest 
Mother, — On  my  arrival  yesterday,  a  great  cavalcade 
rode  out  to  meet  me  about  eight  miles  from  Bologna. 
First  came  my  cousin,  Pirro  Gonzaga  [the  son  of 
Lodovico  of  Gazzuolo  and  Francesca  de'  Fieschi],  with 
sixty  other  scholars,  mostly  of  Mantuan  birth,  on  horse- 

1   Luzio  in  Giorn.  Stor.,  viii.  374,  &c. 


back.  These  dismounted,  and  Pirro  and  I  embraced 
each  other  tenderly.  A  little  further  we  met  a  troop  of 
Bolognese  gentlemen,  who  all  rejoiced  at  my  coming  ; 
and  yet  further  on  came  my  dear  Maestro  Pietro 
himself,  with  a  number  of  learned  doctors,  who  had 
ridden  some  way  out  of  the  town  to  meet  me.  So  I 
entered  Bologna  about  four  o'clock  with  a  train  of 
200  horsemen,  and  the  streets  and  gateways  were 
crowded  with  men,  and  women  stood  at  all  the 
windows  crying  out  '  Gonzaga  I '  When  I  reached 
my  house  I  saw  that  its  owner,  Aliprando,  had 
decorated  the  doorway  with  festoons  of  evergreens 
and  shields  bearing  the  arms  of  our  house,  of  the 
Pope,  and  of  the  governor  and  people  of  Bologna. 
After  taking  leave  of  these  gentlemen,  I  got  off  my 
horse  and  visited  my  rooms,  which  pleased  me 
immensely.  First  of  all  you  enter  a  beautiful  little 
salottOf  hung  with  the  tapestries  which  I  had  sent  on, 
as  well  as  several  pictures  in  frames,  which  look  very 
well,  and  containing  a  bed  hung  with  crimson  damask 
embroidered  with  various  devices.  From  this  room 
you  enter  a  smaller  one,  also  hung  with  tapestry,  and 
containing  two  couches,  one  draped  with  cloth  of 
gold,  the  other  covered  with  linen.  Within,  there 
is  a  third  room,  with  a  couch  hung  with  crimson 
velvet  and  cloth  of  gold,  which  I  will  use  as  a  study. 
Certainly  these  lodgings  are  most  excellent,  and  all 
my  servants  are  quite  satisfied,  and  indeed  the  house 
is  as  good  and  comfortable  as  possible.  Last  night 
my  cousin  Pirro  and  some  of  our  Mantuan  scholars 
supped  with  me.  I  kiss  your  hands  reverently. — 
Your  son,  Ercole."  ^ 

The  next  day  Ercole  arranged  his  books,  called 

1  Luzio,  op.  cit. 

HIS   TUTORS  215 

on  M.  Pietro,  and  was  introduced  to  the  beadle  and 
lecturers  of  the  university.  The  following  morning 
he  went  on  foot  to  pay  his  respects  to  the  governor, 
who  took  him  to  mass  at  S.  Salvadore,  and  on  his 
return  found  a  deputation  from  the  citizens  awaiting 
him  with  a  splendid  gift  of  confetti,  wax  candles, 
game,  corn,  and  salt  meat,  as  well  as  a  calf  and  some 
pheasants  and  partridges,  which  M.  Pietro  himself 
had  sent  the  young  prince.  "  I  cannot  tell  Your 
Excellency,"  wrote  Vincenzo  de'  Preti,  the  Mantuan 
tutor,  who  had  accompanied  Ercole  to  Bologna,  "  what 
numbers  of  trumpeters  and  pifferari  surround  the 
house,  or  how  many  visits  my  lord  has  received 
to-day  from  the  Rector  of  the  College  and  other 
gentlemen  and  scholars.  Not  only  the  halls,  but 
the  loggia  and  courtyard  were  crowded  with  visitors 
all  day.  It  was  only  towards  evening  that  Ercole 
was  able  to  escape  from  his  callers  and  ride  out  to 
visit  the  Church  of  S.  Michele  in  Bosco  on  the  hill- 
side, and  which  seemed  to  him  a  most  pleasant  and 
dehghtful  place."  Meanwhile,  Archdeacon  Gabbio- 
neta  had,  by  Isabella's  desire,  consulted  Pomponazzi 
as  to  the  choice  of  a  tutor  for  her  son,  and  Vincenzo 
informed  her  that  he  strongly  recommended  M. 
Lazzaro  Buonamici  of  Bassano,  an  able  and  learned 
teacher  who  was  acquainted  with  Castlglione  and 
Mario  Equicola.  But  the  honest  servant  was  con- 
siderably perturbed  to  find  that  this  tutor's  fee  would 
be  170  ducats — that  is  to  say,  20  ducats  more  than 
the  Marchesa  wished  to  give.  Isabella,  however, 
knew  better  than  to  haggle  over  prices  in  this  case, 
and  wrote  back  promptly,  saying:  "As  to  your 
arrangement  with  Messer  Lazzaro,  it  seems  to  me 
that  so  excellent  a  man,  and  one  who  will  help  our 


son  as  much  as  you  say,  is  not  to  be  lost  for  the  sake 
of  so  paltry  a  sum  as  20  or  30  ducats,  and  I  hope 
you  will  do  your  best  to  secure  his  services."  So 
Messer  Lazzaro  was  duly  engaged,  and  replied  in 
an  eloquent  Latin  epistle  to  the  Marchesa's  urgent 
request  that  he  would  lead  her  son  to  the  glorious 
goal  which  he  had  set  before  him. 

Then  work  began  in  good  earnest.  M.  Lazzaro 
read  Cicero  and  Aristotle  every  afternoon  with  Er- 
cole  in  his  own  house,  and  in  the  evenings  he 
attended  M.  Pietro's  lectures.  On  the  first  occasion 
on  which  the  prince  appeared  at  a  public  lecture, 
Pomponazzi  made  a  little  speech,  exhorting  him 
to  persevere  in  the  right  way,  and  speaking  of 
his  mother  as  Sanctissima  Mater  tua,  Isabella,  in 
terms  which  moved  many  of  his  hearers  to  tears ! 
The  good  Mantuan  tutor,  De'  Preti,  was  greatly 
edified  at  the  sight  of  his  charge's  new  fervour. 
"  Madama  mia"  he  wrote,  "  Signor  Ercole  shows  a 
far  greater  zeal  for  learning  and  devotion  to  study 
than  he  ever  showed  at  Mantua.  He  does  not 
merely  listen  to  M.  Peretto,  he  adores  him ;  so,  if 
God  gives  him  grace  to  go  on  as  he  has  begun,  it  is 
certain  that  he  will  become  a  famous  man  of  letters. 
On  my  part  I  did  my  duty,  as  a  faithful  servant,  by 
telling  him  that  he  must  persevere  in  his  studies  here 
at  Bologna,  as  those  do  who  enter  the  religious  life, 
and  thus  gain  immortal  fame  both  in  this  world  and 
in  the  next.  Upon  which  he  replied  that  I  might  be 
quite  sure  he  would  not  return  to  Your  Excellency 
an  ignorant  man.  .  .  .  And  every  one  here  says  that 
they  have  never  seen  a  more  zealous  scholar.  God 
keep  him  ever  in  the  same  excellent  disposition  I " ' 

•  ^  Luzio,  op,  cit. 


A  week  later  De'  Preti  reports  :  "  To-day  M.  Lazzaro 
began  to  read  Tully  with  Signor  Ercole,  and  has  fixed 
one  o'clock  as  the  most  convenient  hour  for  his 
lesson,  which  also  suits  my  lord,  who  intends  to 
devote  the  mornings  to  philosophy.  Every  day 
Messer  Pietro  comes  about  four  to  fetch  my  lord, 
and  takes  him  to  the  Studio,  where  he  resides,  and 
his  lecture  to-day  was  on  the  '  Meteora '  of  Aristotle, 
and  a  very  delightful  one  it  was.  Signor  Ercole 
shows  the  greatest  courtesy  both  to  M.  Pietro  and 
M.  Lazzaro,  and  Your  Excellency  cannot  think  how 
good  and  charming  he  is  to  every  one." 

From  the  first  the  great  teacher  seems  to  have 
fascinated  Ercole  with  the  glamour  of  his  person- 
ality. A  man  of  short  stature  and  square  build, 
with  an  enormous  head  and  closely-shaven  ftice, 
M.  Peretto's  appearance  often  excited  ridicule,  and 
Bandello  tells  us  how,  when  he  came  to  deliver 
an  oration  at  Modena,  certain  ladies  of  fashion, 
meeting  this  ugly  Httle  man  with  a  bald  head  and 
shabby  clothes,  took  him  for  a  German  Jew,  and 
called  him  Maestro  Abram.^  But  when  he  began 
to  lecture,  his  whole  being  underwent  a  strange  trans- 
formation. His  eyes  glowed  with  fire,  his  countenance 
shone  with  enthusiasm,  and  his  eloquent  and  im- 
passioned words  stirred  the  hearts  of  his  audience 
with  irresistible  might.  He  had  the  power  of  impart- 
ing interest  to  the  dullest  subject,  and  his  Uvely  and 
caustic  wit,  as  well  as  his  frequent  allusions  to  con- 
temporary events  and  personages,  added  greatly  to 
his  popularity  as  a  lecturer.  Isabella  herself  felt 
doubly  rewarded  for  the  pains  which  she  had  taken 
with  her  son's  education  when  M.  Peretto  himself 

^  Novelle,  pt.  iii.  38. 


wrote  to  tell  her  how  industriously  Ercole  applied 
himself  to  his  studies,  and  how  much  heloved  he  was 
both  by  his  teachers  and  comrades,  "  which  things," 
as  she  said  in  her  reply,  "  are  the  pleasures  and  fruits 
which  every  loving  mother  desires  and  all  good 
children  yield."  And  she  begged  M.  Pietro  to 
keep  watch  over  the  boy,  so  that  she  might  feel 
as  satisfied  as  if  she  herself  were  at  his  side.  Both 
Ercole's  teachers  were  able  to  give  his  mother 
excellent  reports  of  his  progress  during  the  next 
term.  Pomponazzi  wrote  to  her  after  Christmas: 
"M.  Lazzaro  reads  every  day  with  Signor  Ercole, 
and  I  have  asked  his  opinion  of  this  Signor  several 
times.  He  commends  him  highly,  and  thinks  that 
he  will  do  very  well  in  Greek  and  Latin.  He  finds 
him  eager  to  learn,  and  tells  me  that  he  has  an 
excellent  nature,  and  is  full  of  kindness  and  goodness, 
and  certainly  he  appears  so  to  me  and  to  all  who 
know  him  in  this  town."  Later  on,  Vincenzo  wrote : 
"  Work  goes  on  gaily  both  morning  and  night.  M. 
Lazzaro  has  great  hopes  of  my  lord,  and  M.  Pietro 
approves  of  his  beginnings,  and  is  quite  satisfied  with 
what  he  hears  from  Gianfrancesco  Fomo,  who  is 
weU  versed  in  humanism."  Forno  was  a  young 
Modenese  of  noble  birth,  a  favourite  pupil  of  M. 
Peretto,  who  was  appointed  to  read  with  Ercole  and 
who  afterwards  accompanied  him  to  Mantua  in  the 

Even  at  Bologna,  however,  students  had  their 
amusements,  and  Vincenzo's  daily  reports  show  that 
the  young  lord's  time  was  not  wholly  consumed  in 
arduous  studies.  One  morning  he  rides  out  early  to 
see  the  charming  house  of  the  Benedictines  at  the 
Madonna  del  Monte ;  another  evening  he  sups  with 


a  gay  party  of  fellow-students,  whose  riotous  mirth 
sometimes  leads  to  serious  consequences.  On  one 
occasion  a  Mantuan  friend  of  Ercole,  who  shared  his 
studies  and  board,  quarrelled  with  a  ISIodenese  youth 
and  wounded  him  mortally,  upon  which  the  prince 
sent  him  away.  At  Christmas  the.  feste  were  cele- 
brated with  all  manner  of  entertainments,  laurel 
wreaths  were  hung  on  Ercole's  door,  and  at  the  end 
of  lectures  the  college  beadle  recited  comic  verses  in 
his  honour  amid  great  merriment.  When  the  week's 
vacation  was  over,  Ercole  and  his  cousin  Pirro  attended 
an  anatomical  course,  and,  together  with  many  painters 
and  sculptors,  were  present  at  the  dissection  of  the 
corpse  of  a  thief  who  had  been  hung. 

Like  other  young  men  at  college,  Ercole  often 
found  himself  short  of  funds,  and,  although  he  was 
never  as  extravagant  in  his  expenditure  as  his  brothers, 
his  tutor  more  than  once  had  recourse  to  his  mother, 
begging  her  to  send  him  money  by  the  next  courier, 
since  he  was  reduced  to  his  last  penny  1 

An  attack  of  ague  interrupted  his  studies  that 
winter,  and,  by  his  doctor's  advice,  he  only  worked  in 
the  morning  for  some  time.  After  carnival  he  resolved 
to  make  up  for  lost  time.  He  attended  lectures  on 
logic,  read  Cicero's  Letters,  and  composed  Latin 
epistles  for  M.  Lazzaro,  often  working  late  into  the 
night.  So  diligent  was  the  young  prince  that  his 
master  allowed  him  to  pay  a  flying  visit  to  Mantua 
at  Easter,  after  which  he  remained  at  Bologna  until 
the  August  vacation,  which  lasted  three  months. 
Isabella  had  every  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  her 
son's  progress,  and,  at  Pomponazzi's  recommendation, 
Ercole  was  granted  a  dispensation  from  the  daily 
recital  of  the  breviary,  in  order  to  have  more  time 


for  his  classical  studies.  He  also  began  to  read 
Arabic  with  Fomo,  and  engaged  an  Arab  servant  to 
help  him  acquire  the  language.^  His  teachers  all 
found  him  a  docile  and  inteUigent  scholar,  and 
Lazzaro,  who  afterwards  became  professor  of  Greek 
at  Padua,  remained  all  his  life  on  friendly  terms  with 
his  old  pupil.  But  Pomponazzi  inspired  him  with 
a  still  deeper  feeling,  and  the  death  of  the  great 
teacher,  on  the  18th  of  JSIay  1525,  was  a  heavy  blow 
to  him. 

The  philosopher  had  long  suffered  from  internal 
complications,  which  caused  him  acute  pain  at  times, 
and  in  the  end  reduced  him  to  a  state  of  complete 
nervous  prostration.  In  his  suffering,  he  refused  to 
take  food,  saying  it  was  better  to  die  once  for  all 
than  to  endure  such  continual  agony.  His  pupil, 
Antonio  Broccardo,  the  poet  whose  mournful  and 
romantic  features  live  for  us  in  Giorgione's  portrait, 
wrote  a  private  letter  to  his  father,  giving  a  memor- 
able account  of  the  great  sceptic's  last  moments.  "  On 
the  seventh  night  of  his  fatal  illness,  when  his  end 
was  hourly  expected,  he  was  heard  to  say,  '  1  depart 
with  joy.'  '  Where  are  you  going  ? '  asked  a  friend 
who  stood  at  his  bedside,  eager  to  learn  the  master's 
secret.  '  Where  all  mortals  go,'  was  Pomponazzi's 
reply.  '  Whither  do  they  go  ? '  urged  the  former 
speaker.  '  Where  others  are  gone  before,'  repHed 
the  dying  man.  A  last  attempt  was  made  to  induce 
him  to  take  nourishment,  but  he  refused,  saying, 
'  Leave  me  alone.  I  wish  to  die.'  And  so,"  writes 
his  sorrowful  pupil,  "  his  spirit  fled  with  a  sigh  to  the 
shades."  ^ 

1  Luzio,  op.  dt. 

2  V.  Cian,  Nuovi  documenti  su  Pomponazzi,  p.  29. 


Ercole  was  bitterly  grieved,  and  sent  the  sad  news 
to  his  brother  the  Marquis  in  the  following  short  note : 
"  I  have  nothing  to  tell  you,  but  that  last  night  about 
three  o'clock  our  beloved  M.  Pietro  Pomponazzi  died. 
May  God  grant  him  peace  I "  ^  On  the  24th  of  May, 
Federico  replied  :  "  We  received  the  news  which  you 
gave  us  of  the  excellent  Messer  Pietro  Pomponazzi's 
death  with  no  httle  sorrow,  both  because  of  the  love 
which  we  bore  him  on  account  of  his  rare  talents, 
and  out  of  regard  for  Your  Highness,  knowing  how 
much  you  loved  him,  and  how  useful  he  was  to  you 
in  those  studies  which  are  your  constant  delight. 
We  feel  sure  that  you  grieve  for  him  from  the  depths 
of  your  heart."  ^ 

After  INIesser  Peretto's  death,  the  young  prince 
felt  that  he  could  no  longer  remain  at  Bologna,  and 
wrote  to  his  mother,  who  was  then  in  Rome,  saying 
that  he  was  returning  to  Mantua  now  that  M.  Pietro 
was  no  more,  and  begged  her  to  allow  him  to  spend 
the  summer  at  her  villa  of  Porto,  since  the  heat  would 
be  so  great  in  the  town. 

Pomponazzi's  remains  were  brought  to  his  native 
city  and  buried  in  the  church  of  San  Francesco, 
where  Ercole  raised  a  noble  bronze  monument  above 
his  remains.  To  the  end  of  his  life  Isabella's  son 
retained  the  deepest  affection  for  his  master's  memory ; 
he  sealed  his  letters  with  an  effigy  of  Pomponazzi,  and 
had  a  portrait  of  him  which  he  describes  as  a  "  most 
speaking  likeness."  When,  in  1545,  Paolo  Giovio 
begged  for  a  copy  of  this  portrait  to  add  to  his 
collection,  the  Cardinal  replied  that  he  could  not 
spare  the  original,  since  this  would  leave  him  without 

1  Davari,  Lettere  inedite  di  Pomponazzi. 
*  Fontana,  SuW  Immortalitd,  &c.,  p.  93. 

222      ERCOLE'S   REGARD   FOR   HIM 

the  image  of  the  great  man  who  had  been  his  master, 
and  regretted  to  say  that  Maestro  GiuHo  (Giuho  Ro- 
mano) was  too  much  occupied  with  buildings  and  plans 
to  do  the  work,  but  promised  that  one  of  his  scholars 
should  copy  the  portrait  as  soon  as  he  returned  from 
Rome.^  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  Ercole  Gonzaga, 
who  still  remembered  the  great  sceptic  with  so  much 
veneration,  was  before  long  to  become  the  president 
of  the  General  Council  which  met  at  Trent  in  that 
same  year. 

^  Luzio  in  Giorn.  Stor.,  1900,  p.  45. 



Castiglione  in  Rome — Pope  Adrian's  reforms — Chiericati  at  the 
Diet  of  Nurnberg  —  His  letters  to  Isabella  —  Journey  of 
Magellan — Visit  of  Isabella  to  Venice — Navagero  and  Titian 
— Doge  Andrea  Gritti  enters  into  an  alliance  with  Charles  V. 
— The  Pope  joins  the  League — Death  of  Adrian  VI. — Elec- 
tion of  Clement  VII.  —  Castiglione  sent  to  Rome — Wars 
of  Lombardy — The  Connetable  de  Bourbon  at  Mantua — 
Isabella  in  Venice — Ferrante  Gonzaga  goes  to  Spain — Cas- 
tiglione sent  by  the  Pope  to  Madrid — Giulio  Romano  at 
Mantua — Isabella  Boschetti. 

Castiglione's  embassy  to  the  Vatican  was  pro- 
longed until  November  1522.  Owing  to  his  exer- 
tions, Federico  Gonzaga  was  confirmed  in  his  post  of 
Captain-General,  and  in  this  capacity  held  the  baldac- 
chino  over  the  new  Pope  when  His  Holiness  entered 
Rome  in  state  on  the  30th  of  August  1522.  But 
although  Adrian  VI.  showed  himself  friendly  to  the 
Gonzagas  and  their  kinsfolk  of  Urbino  and  Ferrara, 
and  was  sincerely  desirous  of  peace,  his  foreign 
habits  and  the  changes  which  he  introduced  soon 
rendered  him  unpopular,  ahke  to  the  officials  of 
Leo  the  Tenth's  court  and  to  the  people  of  Rome. 
He  turned  out  the  Cardinals  who  lodged  in  the 
Vatican,  ordered  them  to  shave  their  beards  and  lay 
aside  their  secular  habits,  engaged  an  old  Flemish 
cook,  and  gave  his  steward  a  single  ducat  a  day  for 
the  expenses  of  his  household.      The  carnival  was 



shorn  of  its  splendour ;  even  Pasquino  was  silenced,  and 
would  have  been  thrown  into  the  Tiber  if  the  Pope 
could  have  had  his  way.  Castiglione  sighed  over 
these  changes,  and  was  heartily  sick  of  his  mission. 
To  add  to  his  discontent,  the  plague  raged  in  Rome 
all  tlirough  the  autumn,  and  he  longed  to  escape 
from  the  stricken  city,  where  he  was  in  daily  risk 
of  losing  his  life.  He  succeeded,  however,  in  main- 
taining his  influence  with  Adrian  VI.,  and  had  a 
powerful  helper  at  the  Vatican  in  Isabella's  old 
friend,  Bishop  Chiericati. 

This  excellent  prelate  stood  high  in  the  Pope's 
favour,  and  was  sent  as  papal  nuncio  to  the  Diet 
of  Niirnberg,  in  the  hope  that  he  would  be  able  to 
effect  a  reconciliation  with  the  German  Lutherans. 
Erasmus  rejoiced  to  hear  of  the  noble  mission  on 
which  his  friend  was  bound,  and  Chiericati  himself 
had  great  hopes  of  success  when  he  passed  through 
Mantua  in  November  1522.  But  the  letters  which 
he  addressed  to  Isabella  from  Niirnberg  show  that 
the  task  was  beyond  his  powers,  and  that  neither 
the  Pope  nor  any  of  his  advisers  as  yet  realised 
the  proportions  which  the  Lutheran  movement  had 

"  I  assure  Your  Excellency,"  he  writes  in  January, 
"that  Luther's  doctrine  has  already  so  many  roots 
in  the  earth  that  a  thousand  persons  could  not 
pull  it  up ;  certainly  I  alone  cannot.  But  I  will 
do  what  little  I  can,  although  threats  and  perse- 
cution are  not  wanting.  Every  day  I  receive  vil- 
lainous insults,  but  I  try  and  take  all  these  things 
patiently  for  the  love  of  God,  knowing  that  they  will 
be  counted  to  me  as  martyrdom.  .  .  .  Now  they  have 
begun  to  preach  that  the  Sacrament  of  the  Altar  is 


not  a  true  Sacrament,  and  is  not  to  be  worshipped,  but 
only  celebrated  in  memory  of  Christ.  And  they  say 
that  the  Blessed  Virgin  has  no  merit  as  the  Mother 
of  Christ,  and  that  she  bore  other  sons  to  Joseph. 
And  every  day  things  go  from  bad  to  worse.  I  pray 
God  to  put  forth  His  hand."  Again,  he  tells  Isabella 
how  much  he  is  distressed  at  the  secular  spirit  of 
the  clergy,  and  how  German  cardinals  and  arch- 
bishops are  to  be  seen  dancing  and  leaping  in  their 
ecclesiastical  habits.  And  then,  knowing  that  theo- 
logical controversies  have  never  deeply  interested  the 
Marchesa,  he  passes  on  to  pleasanter  subjects,  and 
tells  her  some  of  the  wonderful  tales  which  his 
Vicentine  servant,  Antonio  Pigafetti,  who  had  left 
him  three  years  before,  to  sail  round  the  world  with 
Magellan,  has  brought  back  from  these  unknown 

"  I  send  Your  Excellency  an  account  of  the 
Spanish  expedition  and  a  plan  of  the  great  city  of 
Temistan,  in  the  newly  discovered  islands  of  the 
Oceanic  Sea,  which  will,  I  think,  be  of  interest  to 
you.  And  I  hope  that  in  a  few  days  Your  Excel- 
lency may  have  the  great  pleasure  of  hearing  my  ser- 
vant, who  has  just  returned  from  this  journey  round 
the  world,  tell  you  himself  all  the  great  and  marvellous 
things  which  he  has  seen  and  described  in  writing. 
For  certainly  this  journey  is  a  greater  one  than  any 
man  has  ever  taken  before,  since  he  and  his  comrades 
went  round  the  whole  of  the  globe.  First  of  aU, 
they  sailed  southwards  to  those  islands  in  the  Oceanic 
Sea  which  are  called  Terra  Ferma,  and  round  the 
point,  over  the  Sea  of  Sur  towards  the  west.  Then 
turning  to  the  north  and  east,  they  found  themselves 
in  the  great  Gulf,  near  the  Spice  Islands,  and  sailed 

VOL.  II.  p 


by  the  golden  Chersonese  and  the  Gangelian  Gulf, 
through  the  Persian  and  Arabian  Seas,  by  the  Cape 
of  Good  Hope,  into  the  Ethiopian  Sea  and  across  the 
Atlantic,  until  they  reached  the  Canary  Islands,  and 
returned  to  their  own  land  by  the  opposite  way, 
having  gained  not  only  great  riches,  but  what  is 
worth  more — immortality.  For  surely  this  has  thrown 
all  the  deeds  of  the  Argonauts  into  the  shade.  Here 
we  have  a  long  account  of  the  expedition,  which  His 
Cassarean  Majesty  has  sent  to  the  Archduke  Ferdi- 
nand, who  has  kindly  shown  it  to  me,  and  has  also 
given  me  some  of  the  spices  which  they  brought  from 
these  parts,  with  boughs  and  leaves  of  the  tree  from 
which  they  are  made.  Caesar  has  also  sent  His  Serene 
Highness  a  painted  map  of  the  journey,  and  a  bird 
which  is  very  beautiful,  which  the  kings  of  those 
countries  bear  with  them  when  they  go  to  battle, 
and  say  they  cannot  die  as  long  as  it  is  at  their  side. 
It  seems  to  be  a  very  rare  bird,  and  here  they  call  it 
a  phoenix ;  et  de  his  satis."  ^ 

A  few  weeks  later,  Chiericati  sent  the  Marchesa 
Pigafetti's  Itinerary,  and  on  the  3rd  of  February 
1523,  Isabella  wrote  to  thank  him  for  the  book  and 
to  express  the  incredible  satisfaction  which  it  had 
afforded  her.  "  If  your  servant,"  she  continues, 
"  who  has  returned  so  full  of  knowledge  from  these 
parts,  and  whom  indeed  we  envy  greatly,  should 
happen  to  come  this  way,  we  shall  be  delighted 
to  see  him,  for,  as  you  will  understand,  it  is  a 
far  greater  pleasure  to  hear  of  these  new  and  mar- 
vellous lands  from  a  living  person,  than  merely 
to  read  about  them.  So  if  you  can  send  him  to 
Mantua,  we  shall  be  deeply  indebted  to  you."     At 

^  B.  Morsolin,  op.  cit. 


the  same  time  she  congratulated  him  on  his  success 
in  persuading  the  German  princes  to  take  arms 
against  the  Turk,  and  condoled  with  him  over  the 
difficulties  which  he  encountered  at  Niirnberg.  "  May 
our  Lord  God  give  you  the  power  necessary  to  ex- 
tinguish that  shameful  and  diabolical  Lutheran  sect. 
You  must  not  allow  yourself  to  be  disheartened  by 
the  insults  and  opposition  that  you  receive,  remem- 
bering that  it  is  the  same  in  all  important  under- 
takings, and  the  greater  your  difficulties  are,  the 
greater  will  be  your  glory." 

The  nuncio  kept  his  promise,  and  Antonio  Piga- 
fetti  came  to  Mantua  soon  afterwards,  bringing  with 
him  the  journal  which  he  had  kept  daily  on  his  voyage, 
and  which  Chiericati  described  as  a  "  divine  thing." 
The  traveller  met  with  the  most  enthusiastic  re- 
ception, and  the  Marchesa  was  able  to  listen  to  his 
wonderful  stories,  and  satisfy  her  curiosity  as  to  the 
countries  and  natives  of  this  strange  new  world  which 
had  been  discovered  in  her  own  lifetime.  In  the  last 
days  of  this  same  month  of  January  1523,  the  painter 
Titian  came  to  Mantua  at  the  urgent  request  of 
Federico,  who  had  probably  met  him  in  Venice,  and 
was  familiar  with  his  works  at  Ferrara.  The  young 
Marquis  was  especially  anxious  that  the  Venetian 
master  should  paint  a  portrait  for  him,  probably  that 
of  his  mistress,  Isabella  Boschetti,  since  the  name  of 
the  sitter  is  never  given  in  the  letters  which  he  wrote 
on  the  subject.  But  Titian  was  on  his  way  to  Ferrara 
to  superintend  the  hanging  of  his  great  Bacchanals  in 
Duke  Alfonso's  Camerino,  and  had  already  sent  the 
last  of  the  series,  the  Bacchus  and  Ariadne  of  the 
National  Gallery,  by  boat  to  that  city.  So  he  only 
spent  a  few  days  at  Mantua,  and  the  portrait,  which 


he  probably  sketched  during  this  brief  visit,  was 
finished  at  Venice  in  the  following  August.  The 
work  was  pronounced  to  be  very  fine,  and  greatly 
pleased  the  Marquis,  who  sent  Titian  a  splendid 
doublet,  in  token  of  his  satisfaction,  before  the  picture 
ever  reached  him/  The  painter's  great  Entombment 
of  the  Louvre  was  also  executed  and  sent  to  Mantua 
towards  the  end  of  the  year,  and  was  sold  to  our 
Charles  I.  with  the  gems  of  the  Mantuan  collection 
in  the  following  century,  but  it  is  uncertain  whether 
this  noble  work  was  painted  for  Federico  or  his 
mother.  In  any  case,  Isabella,  who  had  been  absent 
when  Titian  paid  his  first  visit  to  Mantua  and  admired 
her  art-treasures,  four  years  before,  now  made  the 
acquaintance  of  the  master,  with  whom  she  and  her 
son  were  afterwards  so  intimately  associated. 

A  few  months  later,  she  saw  him  again  in  Venice, 
when,  after  visiting  Padua,  in  fulfilment  of  a  vow 
which  she  had  made  to  the  Santo,  she  spent  Ascension- 
tide in  that  city.  "  To-day,"  wrote  Marino  Sanuto 
on  the  20th  of  May,  "  the  Signory  heard  from  the 
Mantuan  ambassador  that  the  old  Marchesana  was 
in  this  city,  lodging  in  Ca'  Barbaro  in  S.  Stefano,  and 
a  present  of  ducats  was  sent  her  by  order  of  the 
Signory."  ^  On  this  occasion  Isabella  was  accompanied 
by  her  brother,  Duke  Alfonso,  now  set  free  from  the 
perpetual  fear  of  papal  intrigues  and  treacheries,  and 
by  Castiglione,  who  had  at  length  returned  from 
Rome  and  was  able  to  enjoy  a  well-earned  holiday. 
This  joyous  little  party  started  for  Venice  on  the 
16th  of  May,  travelling  incognito,  and,  as  usual  on 
these  occasions,  Isabella  went  everywhere  and  saw 

^  Crowe  e  Cavalcaselle,  Titian,  vol.  i.  App. 
2  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxxiv.  156. 


everything.  Her  companions  confessed  themselves 
tired  out  by  her  marvellous  energy,  and  the  Count 
describes  himself  in  a  letter  to  Federico  as  very  busy, 
occupatissimo,  in  escorting  Madama  on  her  walks 
and  gondola  trips  through  the  city.^ 

Twenty-one  years  had  passed  smce  Isabella  paid 
her  memorable  visit  to  Venice  with  her  sister-in- 
law.  Duchess  Elisabetta,  and  there  were  many  new 
and  beautiful  things  for  her  to  see  in  the  churches 
and  palaces  of  the  lagoons  —  the  glorious  frescoes 
which  adorned  the  Great  Council  Hall,  the  last  and 
noblest  altar-pieces  of  Giovanni  BeUini,  that  master 
whose  endless  delays  had  caused  her  so  much  annoy- 
ance, the  paintings  of  Carpaccio  in  the  httle  shrine 
of  the  Slavonian  sailors,  and  the  famous  pictures 
by  Giorgione,  which  she  had  vainly  sought  to  obtain 
for  her  Grotta.  Now  the  great  patriarch  of  Venetian 
painting  and  the  brilliant  master  of  Castelfranco 
were  both  in  their  graves,  and  a  new  generation 
of  masters  had  sprung  up,  with  Titian  at  their 
head.  The  Marchesa,  no  doubt,  visited  the  church 
of  S.  Maria  Gloriosa  and  saw  the  Assumption  which 
he  had  lately  painted  for  the  Franciscan  friars, 
and  examined  his  latest  frescoes  in  the  ducal  palace. 
And  she  was  especially  struck  by  a  St.  Jerome 
which  she  saw  in  his  shop,  and  wrote  to  the 
Mantuan  envoy,  Malatesta,  after  her  return  in 
June,  desiring  him  to  offer  the  painter  100  ducats 
for  the  picture.  The  librarian  of  S.  Marco,  Andrea 
Navagero,  the  friend  of  Raphael  and  CastigHone,  who 
often  visited  the  Marchesa  at  Mantua  and  made  him- 
self very  useful  to  her  in  Venice,  had,  it  appears, 
praised  the  picture  greatly,  and  his  advice  encouraged 

^  Esenzioni  di  famiglia  di  CastigHone,  p.  30. 


her  to  make  the  purchase,  "  knowing,"  she  writes  to 
Malatesta,  "  that  I  cannot  be  wrong  in  acting  on  the 
advice  of  one  who  is  so  excellent  a  judge  in  these 
things."  And  she  begs  her  agent  to  thank  Messer 
Andrea  for  his  kind  interest  in  the  matter,  and  for  all 
the  trouble  which  he  has  taken  to  secure  the  picture. 
Unluckily  Isabella,  finding  herself  as  usual  short  of 
money,  afterwards  changed  her  mind,  much  to  the 
distress  of  Malatesta,  who  privately  told  Ippolito 
Calandra  that,  if  Her  Excellency  did  not  buy  the 
picture,  it  would  hardly  be  to  her  honour,  especially 
now  that  he  had  spoken  to  Navagero  and  Titian  on 
the  subject.^  The  Marchesa,  however,  would  not 
have  the  St.  Jerome,  but  either  this  picture  or 
another  version  of  the  subject  was  bought  by  her 
son  Federico  in  the  year  of  his  marriage,  and  hung 
in  the  room  of  his  wife.  Duchess  Margherita.'^ 

While  Isabella  and  her  brother  visited  churches 
and  studios,  or  studied  rare  books  and  manuscripts, 
with  Castiglione  and  Navagero  for  their  guides,  politi- 
cal affairs  were  not  neglected.  Andrea  Gritti  had  just 
succeeded  the  aged  Antonio  Grimani  on  the  ducal 
throne,  and  both  the  Duke  and  the  Marchesa  were 
present  at  his  proclamation  and  enthronement,  after 
which  Alfonso  shook  hands  with  the  newly  elected 
Doge,  and  wished  him  joy,  in  the  most  friendly 
manner.  The  next  morning  they  attended  the 
solemn  mass  in  S.  Marco  when  the  banner  of  the 
Republic  was  formally  delivered  into  his  hands,  and 
saw  him  crowned  with  the  ducal  cap  at  the  top  of 
the  Giants'  Staircase.^ 

^  Luzio  in  Giom.  Slor.,  1900,  p.  48. 

2  D'Arco,  Arte  e  Arlefici,  ii.  ]6l. 

"  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxxiv.  157,  158. 

LEAGUE   AGAINST   FRANCE         231 

On  his  accession,  the  new  Doge  was  called  upon 
to  make  a  momentous  decision  in  accepting  the 
proposals  of  Charles  V.  and  Francesco  Sforza  to 
join  in  a  league  for  the  defence  of  the  Milanese 
against  the  Signory's  old  ally,  France.  Castig- 
lione  accordingly  lost  no  time  in  waiting  upon 
His  Serene  Highness,  with  whom  he  had  a  long 
interview  on  the  30th  of  May,  and  who  professed  the 
warmest  sentiments  of  friendship  for  the  INIarquis 
Federico.  Nor  did  the  Count  forget  to  put  in  a 
word  in  favour  of  his  old  master,  the  Duke  of 
Urbino,  whom  he  was  always  glad  to  serve.  The 
result  proved  highly  satisfactory,  and  when,  on  the 
28th  of  June,  the  new  treaty  of  the  Republic  with 
the  Emperor  was  proclaimed,  Francesco  Maria  was 
appointed  general  of  the  Venetian  army.  The 
Gonzagas  had  now  entered  into  a  close  alliance 
with  the  Emperor,  Charles  V.,  and  in  July  1523,  a 
few  weeks  after  his  return  from  Venice,  CastigUone 
wrote  to  his  friend,  Andrea  Piperario,  in  Rome, 
begging  him  to  assure  the  Spanish  ambassador  that 
neither  the  bad  conduct  of  the  Pope  nor  that  of  the 
Duke  of  Milan  could  prevent  the  Marquis  from  being 
wholly  devoted  to  the  Emperor  (Imperialissimo)  both 
in  body  and  soul.  "  Madama,  his  mother,"  the  Count 
goes  on,  *'  is  entirely  of  the  same  opinion,  and  if  there 
were  any  need  for  me  to  keep  them  in  this  frame 
of  mind,  I  would  not  only  gladly  give  my  time  and 
labour,  but  life  itself."  ^  On  the  3rd  of  August,  Pope 
Adrian  and  the  RepubHc  of  Florence  both  joined  the 
league  for  the  defence  of  Italy  against  the  French, 
and  the  JMarquis  of  Mantua,  who  was  already  Captain 
of  the  Church,  received  the  command  of  the  troops 

^  Serassi,  Lettere  di  Neg.,  ii.  55. 


which  1^'lorence  sent  to  join  the  papal  forces.  In 
spite  of  this  formidable  league,  Francis  I.  was  bent 
on  recovering  Milan,  and  early  in  September  a  strong 
force  under  Bonnivet  crossed  the  Alps,  and,  after 
taking  Novara  and  Vigevano,  laid  siege  to  Milan. 

On  the  14th  of  September  1523,  the  very  day 
when  the  French  crossed  the  Ticino,  the  Pope  died, 
heart-broken  at  the  failure  of  his  efforts  to  reform  the 
Church,  and  to  unite  the  powers  of  Christendom  in 
a  crusade  against  the  Turks.  "  Here  lies  Adrian  VI., 
who  thought  nothing  more  unfortunate  in  his  life 
than  that  he  became  Pope,"  was,  Paolo  Giovio  tells 
us,  the  inscription  which  he  wished  to  have  placed  on 
his  grave.  The  Conclave  met  on  the  1st  of  October, 
and  after  a  prolonged  sitting  of  fifty  days.  Cardinal  dei 
Medici  was  elected  Pope,  with  the  title  of  Clement 
VII.  The  Imperialists  were  exultant.  Bembo  pro- 
phesied that  the  new  Pope  would  prove  the  best  and 
wisest  ruler  which  the  Church  had  ever  known,  and 
all  Rome  rejoiced  at  the  choice  of  a  Medici,  who 
would  hold  a  splendid  court  and  bring  back  the 
golden  days  of  Leo  X.  The  Gonzagas  were  over- 
joyed to  see  a  friend  of  their  house  once  more  in  the 
Chair  of  St.  Peter,  and  Castiglione,  who  was  on  in- 
timate terms  with  the  new  Pontiff,  was  immediately 
sent  to  congratulate  him  on  his  election. 

That  summer  Isabella  and  her  family  were  once 
more  thrown  into  mourning  by  the  death  of  her 
brother-in-law  Giovanni  Gonzaga  and  his  wife  Laura 
Bentivoglio,  who  both  died  in  the  same  week,  the  one 
in  the  last  days  of  August,  the  other  on  the  4th  of  Sep- 
tember. Giovanni  had  always  shown  himself  the  most 
loyal  of  subjects  to  his  brother  and  nephew,  and  his 
house  in  the  BorgoPradella  had  been  the  scene  of  many 


pleasant  family  gatherings.  The  loss  of  this  honest 
and  genial  prince  was  deeply  regretted  by  Isabella, 
and  even  more  by  Duchess  Elisabetta,  who  was  ten- 
derly attached  to  her  youngest  brother,  and  had  little 
in  common  with  his  sons.  The  eldest,  Alessandro, 
was  chiefly  notorious  for  his  quarrelsome  temper  and 
inveterate  love  of  gambling,  and  wasted  both  his  time 
and  patrimony  at  cards.  Three  months  later,  Isabella 
received  a  visit  from  another  of  her  husband's  nephews, 
who  was  a  very  different  character,  and  whose  mis- 
fortunes aroused  her  deepest  sympathy.  This  was 
the  famous  Connetable  de  Bourbon,  the  only  surviving 
son  of  Chiara  Gonzaga  and  Gilbert  de  Montpensier. 
The  young  French  nobleman  had  succeeded  to  the 
vast  estates  of  the  Bourbon  family  through  his  mar- 
riage with  Susanne,  only  child  of  Charles  the  Eighth's 
sister  Anne,  but  after  his  wife's  death  the  Queen- 
mother,  Louise  de  Savoie,  laid  claim  to  these  lands, 
and  by  her  intrigues  drove  Charles  de  Bourbon  from 
the  French  court.  The  Emperor  received  him  with 
open  arms,  and  offered  him  the  command  of  the 
German  forces  in  Lombardy,  where  he  found  himself 
fighting  against  his  liege  lord  in  the  very  city  over 
which  he  had  once  reigned  as  Viceroy.  On  her  visit 
to  Louis  the  Twelfth's  court  at  Milan,  many  years 
before,  Isabella  had  been  greatly  attracted  by  the 
young  prince,  who  bore  a  marked  likeness  to  his 
mother,  and  now  she  told  his  aunt  Elisabetta  that 
she  could  not  express  how  charming  and  handsome 
he  was,  and  how  nobly  and  cheerfully  he  bore  his 
misfortunes.  Monsignore  de  Bourbon,  as  his  Italian 
relatives  called  him,  accompanied  Federico  to  the 
camp  of  the  League,  and  exerted  himself  actively 
in  opposing  the  French  attack  on  Milan.      By  the 

284         ISABELLA   AND   THE   DOGE 

end  of  the  year,  Bonnivet  was  forced  to  raise  the 
siege,  and  I^annoy,  the  new  Viceroy  of  Naples,  who 
took  the  command  of  the  combined  forces  in  March, 
soon  compelled  him  to  retire  beyond  the  Alps.  The 
papal  forces  were  disbanded,  and  Federico  Gonzaga 
returned  to  Mantua  early  in  May. 

Once  more  Italy  enjoyed  a  brief  interval  of 
repose,  and  Isabella  availed  herself  of  the  oppor- 
tunity to  repeat  her  visit  to  Venice.  On  the  8th 
of  May,  Marino  Sanuto  mentions  the  arrival  of 
the  "Marchesa  di  Mantova,  mother  of  the  Lord 
Marquis,  and  sister  of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  com- 
monly called  Madama,  who  is  lodging  in  Casa  Bar- 
baro,  near  S.  Vitale,  with  the  Mantuan  ambassador, 
and  has  brought  with  her,  for  the  use  of  her  house- 
hold, four  amphoroe  and  three  barrels  of  wine,  twenty 
sacks  of  flour,  four  cheeses,  besides  meat  and  vege- 
tables, all  of  which  were  declared  free  of  duty  by  the 
Signoria."  ^  Isabella  paid  a  visit  to  the  Doge  Andrea 
Gritti,  who  gave  her  a  splendid  reception,  and  en- 
tertained her  in  his  private  rooms,  where  she  spent 
some  time,  talking  freely  of  many  things,  and  especi- 
ally of  the  latest  news  from  Turkey.  Every  courtesy 
was  shown  to  the  Marchesa  on  this  occasion,  and 
when  the  Mantuan  envoy  came  to  thank  the  Signoria 
for  their  courtesy,  and  express  how  greatly  she  had 
enjoyed  her  visit,  the  Doge  replied  in  the  most  cordial 
terms,  and  spoke  of  the  Marquis  as  a  beloved  son 
and  faithful  ally. 

Isabella  remained  in  Venice  for  the  Ascension 
fetes,  and  attended  high  mass  on  the  Feast  of  Corpus 
Christi  in  S.  Marco,  when  the  Patriarch  sang  the 
office,  the  Doge  in   his  crimson  robes,  and  all  the 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xxxvi.  366. 


members  of  the  Scuola  di  San  Rocco  were  present. 
After  this  solemn  function,  the  Marehesa  walked 
through  the  Merceria  and  the  most  crowded  streets 
in  the  city  to  the  Rialto,  "  and  enjoyed  herself  exceed- 
ingly," writes  Sanuto,  "making  an  attendant  walk 
on  each  side  of  her,  supporting  her  arms,  for  the  sake 
of  her  dignity."^  The  advance  of  years  could  not 
diminish  her  energy  and  love  of  sight-seeing,  and  at 
fifty  she  was  as  full  of  life  and  as  interested  in  every- 
thing about  her  as  she  had  ever  been.  But  although 
the  Doge  was  eager  in  his  professions  of  regard  for  the 
Marehesa  and  her  son,  he  was  already  wavering  in 
his  allegiance  to  the  Emperor,  and  before  the  end  of 
the  year  both  Venice  and  the  Pope  entered  into  a 
secret  agreement  with  France. 

From  the  moment  of  his  election,  Clement  VII. 
adopted  the  crooked  policy  of  Leo  X.,  and,  with- 
out breaking  openly  with  the  Emperor,  began  to 
negotiate  secretly  with  Francis  I.  He  assumed  a 
strictly  neutral  attitude  in  the  hope  of  gaining  time, 
and  tried  by  skilful  intrigues  to  preserve  the  balance 
of  power  between  the  two  rivals,  both  of  whom  he 
dreaded  equally.  But  while  he  directed  his  gravest 
censures  against  Alfonso  d'Este,  who  had  taken  ad- 
vantage of  the  late  Pope's  death  to  recover  Reggio, 
he  confirmed  Federico  Gonzaga  in  his  office  as 
Captain-General,  and  treated  his  envoy  with  marked 
favour.  All  through  the  summer,  CastigHone  re- 
mained in  Rome,  keeping  a  watchful  eye  over  his 
master's  interests,  while  the  tangled  web  of  intrigue 
gathered  every  day  more  thickly  round  the  Vatican. 
Often,  in  the  midst  of  his  thankless  and  troublesome 
task,  he  longed  for  rest  and  freedom,  and  wished 

1  Diarii,  xxxvi.  366. 


himself  back  at  Mantua,  enjoying  the  cool  breezes 
and  delicious  shades  of  the  Marchesa's  beautiful 
villa  of  Porto. 

"  Signora  mia  illustrissima,''  he  wrote  on  the  20th  of 
July  1524,  "  I  accept  any  penance  which  Your  High- 
ness sees  fit  to  lay  upon  me  for  my  neglect  in  writing, 
with  the  humility  of  a  good  penitent.  Here  the  heat 
and  the  great  abundance  of  excellent  melons  we  have 
enjoyed  during  the  last  month  do  not  agree  with  me 
at  all,  and  might  do  me  real  harm  if  it  were  not  for 
the  good  medicines  recommended  by  Your  Excel- 
lency. I  hope  to  come  and  kiss  your  gracious  hands, 
if  not  during  these  great  heats,  at  least  when  they 
are  a  little  abated,  and  we  may  still  be  able  to  dine 
in  your  beautiful  loggia,  for  among  all  the  fair  places 
in  Rome,  I  know  of  none  which  can  compare  with 
that  I" ^ 

Isabella  hastened  to  assure  her  friend  how  eagerly 
he  was  expected  in  her  loggia,  where  his  presence 
would  be  all  the  more  welcome  after  the  fine 
praises  which  he  had  bestowed  upon  it.  But  neither 
during  that  summer,  nor  any  other,  was  the  Marchesa 
to  enjoy  the  company  of  her  most  brilliant  courtier 
in  the  lovely  gardens  of  Porto.  For  on  the  same 
day  that  the  Count  was  sighing  to  be  once  more 
at  home,  Pope  Clement  addressed  a  letter  to  the 
Marquis,  begging  that  he  might  be  allowed  to  send 
his  good  servant,  the  Magnifico  Baldassarre  Cas- 
tigUone,  on  an  important  mission  to  His  C  cesarean 
Majesty  at  Madrid.^  Neither  Federico  nor  the  Count 
could  refuse  this  flattering  request,  and  Isabella  was 
the  more  inclined  to  gratify  the  Pope's  wish,  because 

1   Luzio  e  Reniefj  Mmdova  e  Urbino,  p.  255. 

^  Esenzioni,  p.  32;  Serassi,  Lettere  di  Negozi,  i.  133. 


she  was  about  to  send  her  third  son,  Ferrante,  to  the 
Court  of  Spain.  The  marked  favour  which  Charles 
V.  had  lately  shown  the  Marquis  had  encouraged  her 
to  take  this  step,  and  Castiglione  gladly  promised  to 
serve  the  young  prince  to  the  best  of  his  powers. 
"  I  long  more  than  ever  to  enjoy  Your  Excellency's 
loggia,"  he  wrote  on  the  4th  of  August,  "  and  grieve 
to  think  how  little  I  am  likely  to  be  there  now. 
When  I  am  in  Spain,  I  shall  often  wish  myself  back 
at  Mantua,  but  shall  console  myself  by  serving  Don 
Ferrante,  until  God  allows  me  to  return,  and  find  the 
rest  which  is  needful  at  my  age  and  time  of  life." 

Ferrante  Gonzaga  was  barely  seventeen,  but  was 
already  a  tall  and  active  youth,  who  inherited  his 
father's  powers  of  horsemanship  and  skill  in  courtly 
exercises,  and  his  mother's  love  of  art  and  letters. 
"  I  rejoice,"  wrote  Ercole  Gonzaga  to  his  mother 
from  Bologna,  "  to  hear  that  my  brother  Ferrante  is 
devoting  himself  to  such  laudable  deeds,  as  well  as  to 
those  studies  which  by  Your  Excellency's  kind  care  we 
have  learned  to  love  from  our  tenderest  years."  But 
it  was  in  the  career  of  arms,  rather  than  in  that  of 
letters,  that  Isabella's  youngest  son  was  to  earn  his 
laurels,  and  rise  to  that  high  place  in  the  Emperor's 
favour  which  he  afterwards  attained.  Meanwhile  his 
mother  had  not  abandoned  the  hope  of  obtaining  a 
Cardinal's  hat  for  Ercole,  and  by  her  orders  Castig- 
lione renewed  his  application  on  the  subject  to  Pope 
Clement.  His  Hohness  seemed  incHned,  he  wrote, 
to  lend  a  favourable  ear  to  the  proposal,  but  would 
make  no  promises,  and  in  October,  the  Count  urged 
Federico  Gonzaga  to  come  to  Rome  himself,  say- 
ing that  the  Pope  was  anxious  to  see  him,  and 
his    presence    would,    he    felt     sure,    advance    the 

238  SIEGE    OF   PAVIA 

matter  in  hand.^  The  Marquis  took  the  hint,  and 
actually  started  for  Rome  in  the  middle  of  October. 
Wlien,  however,  he  reached  Bologna,  he  heard  that 
Francis  I.  had  suddenly  crossed  the  Mont  Cenis, 
and  was  marching  on  Milan.  In  this  critical  state 
of  affairs,  he  felt  that  it  was  impossible  to  continue 
his  journey,  and  returned  to  Mantua  to  await  the 
further  development  of  affairs.^  By  the  time  that 
he  reached  home,  Francesco  Sforza  had  been  com- 
pelled to  evacuate  Milan  and  retire  on  Lodi,  leaving 
a  strong  garrison  in  the  CasteUo,  while  Francis  I. 
laid  siege  to  Pavia,  which  was  stoutly  defended  by 
the  Spanish  captain,  Antonio  de  Leyva.  All  through 
the  winter  months  the  Imperialist  generals  were 
compelled  to  remain  inactive  for  want  of  money  and 
reinforcements,  and  in  Rome,  Pasquino,  who  had 
recovered  his  voice  under  the  new  Pope,  offered  a 
reward  "  for  the  discovery  of  the  Imperial  army,  lost 
sometime  last  October  in  the  mountains  between 
France  and  Lombardy,  and  never  heard  of  since."  ^ 
"  Here,  in  Rome,  there  is  no  news,"  wrote  the  nuncio 
Chiericati  to  Isabella.  "  All  the  great  and  important 
tidings  come  from  Lombardy,  where  Your  Excel- 
lency now  is,  so  I  can  only  serve  you  up  a  salad  of 
the  different  fragments  which  reach  us  from  beyond 
the  Alps.  Here  both  the  Colonna  and  the  Orsini 
are  raising  forces,  and  we  all  wonder  if  the  French  are 
going  to  invade  Naples,  but  His  Hohness  observes  a 
strict  neutrality,  and  only  seeks  to  keep  the  peace." 
In  other  words,  the  Pope  persevered  in  his  temporis- 

1  Serassi,  Letterg  di  Negozi,  i. 

2  Sanuto,   Diarii,  xxxvii. ;    D'Arco  e  Braghirolli,  Arch.  St.  It,, 
vii.  191. 

3  //  Pnncipe,  by  Machiavelli,  ed   by  L.  Burd,  p.  159. 


ing  policy,  and  refused  to  declare  himself  openly  on 
either  side.  Since  Mantua  remained  at  peace,  and 
Federico's  presence  in  the  field  was  not  required, 
Isabella  now  decided  to  go  to  Rome  herself,  and 
ask  the  Pope  for  Ercole's  Cardinal's  hat  in  person. 
She  had  already  started  on  her  journey  when 
Castiglione  came  back  to  Mantua  and  took  leave 
of  his  mother  and  children  before  his  departure 
for  Spain.  He  brought  with  him,  at  Federico's 
request,  the  painter  Giulio  Romano,  the  pupil 
of  Raphael,  "whom  I  love,"  he  wrote  to  the 
Pope,  "every  bit  as  much,  now  he  is  dead,  as 
when  he  was  alive."  And  the  Count  also  brought 
the  Duke  a  model  of  a  beautiful  villa  and  spacious 
gardens,  which  had  been  designed  by  Michel  Angelo 
Federico  admired  these  plans  immensely,  and  declared 
his  intention  of  building  a  similar  palace  at  Marmirolo, 
where  he  had  lately  erected  a  sumptuous  theatre  and 
other  splendid  buildings.^  This  scheme,  however, 
seems  to  have  been  abandoned,  and  GiuHo  Romano, 
who  now  took  up  his  abode  at  Mantua,  began  to  build 
his  famous  palace  of  the  T^,  on  the  marshy  ground 
outside  the  Pusterla  Gate,  formerly  occupied  by  the 
Marquis  Francesco's  stables. 

In  those  days  the  handsome  young  Marquis  was 
passionately  in  love  with  Isabella  Boschetti,  whose 
fair  face  and  form  may  still  be  seen  in  the  Psyche, 
painted  by  Messer  Giulio's  hand,  whom  we  see 
reigning  supreme  amid  the  goddesses  on  the  ceiling 
of  the  Palazzo  del  T^.  And  it  was  for  his  mistress 
that  Federico  built  the  noble  Palazzo  della  Giustizia, 
which  was  also  decorated  with  paintings  by  the 
hand   of  his   favourite   master.      Isabella   bore   him 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  257. 


three  children,  and  his  devotion  to  her  made  him 
reject  all  proposals  of  marriage.      After  his  father's 
death  he  broke  off  his  engagement  with  Maria  di 
Montferrato,  and  obtained  a  dissolution  of  the  con- 
tract from   Clement  VI I. ^      Some  of  his   relatives 
were   anxious   that   he   should   marry   the    King   of 
Poland's  daughter,  but  Federico  himself  took  little 
interest  in  the  scheme,  which  was  allowed  to  drop. 
All  this  was  a  cause  of  great  distress  to  his  mother, 
who   longed   to   see  the   succession   secured   in  her 
family,  and  suffered  many  things  from  the  selfishness 
and  jealousy  of  Federico's  mistress.      Paolo  Giovio, 
who   knew   her    intimately,   and    frequently  visited 
Mantua,  tells  us  that  the  Marchesa  was  often  left 
alone,  or  with  only  two  or  three  faitliful  old  servants, 
while  her  son's  innaTiwrata  rode  proudly  through  the 
town,  followed  by  a  crowd  of  courtiers  and  ladies. 
It  was  then,  the  historian  explains,  that  the  Marchesa 
adopted  the  device  of  a  many-branched  candlestick, 
such  as  is  used  in  the  services  of  Holy  Week,  when 
the  priests  put   out   one   light   after  the  other  till 
only  one  is  left,  as  a  symbol  of  the  undying  flame 
of   faith.      "And  this   device,"   the  Bishop   writes, 
"  Madama  caused  to  be  painted  in  her  rooms  of  the 
Corte  Vecchia  and  in  her  villa  of  Porto,  and  I,  who 
was  always  her  loyal  servant,  gave  her  the  motto, 
Suffidt  unum  in  tenebris,  which  recalls  Virgil's  line, 
Unum  pro  multis"^ 

Bandello,  we  have  already  seen,  speaks  of  the  evil 
influence  which  Isabella  Boschetti  exerted  on  the 
Marquis ;  and  some  of  the  Marchesa's  own  servants, 
such  as  Mario  Equicola,  forgot  their  duty  to  their 

^  Davari  in  Arch.  St.  Lomh.,  1887. 
'  Delle  Imprese,  p.  59. 


old  mistress  in  their  eagerness  to  ingratiate  them- 
selves with  her  son.  Mario,  however,  did  not  live 
much  longer  to  make  mischief  between  Federico 
and  his  mother.  He  was  too  ill  to  accompany 
Isabella  on  her  journey  to  Rome,  and  died  at 
Mantua  in  July,  1525.  Castiglione  proved  her 
faithful  friend  to  the  last,  and  did  not  forget  her 
in  the  anxieties  and  distractions  of  his  Spanish 
mission.  "God  knows,"  he  wrote  from  Mantua, 
"how  much  it  grieves  me  not  to  kiss  your 
Highness'  hands  before  my  departure ! "  and  on 
his  arrival  at  Madrid,  he  hastened  to  give  her  news 
of  Don  Ferrante.  "  Thank  God,  I  am  well,  and 
although  everything  here  seems  strange,  I  am 
beginning  to  get  used  to  Spanish  customs,  and  these 
gentlemen  seem  pleased  to  see  me.  A  week  ago, 
my  illustrious  lord,  Don  Ferrante,  went  to  S.  Jacopo 
di  Galicia.  He  is  very  well  indeed,  in  high  favour 
with  Caesar,  and  adored  by  all  these  Spanish  lords. 
I  hope  Your  Highness  will  write  and  tell  me  how 
you  are,  and  if  your  secretaries  are  too  busy, 
M.  Andrea  Piperario  will  gladly  write  all  you  are 
good  enough  to  tell  him  for  me."  ^  Madrid,  April  6, 

In  July,  Messer  Baldassarre  wrote  again  from 
Toledo,  advising  the  Marchesa,  who  was  by  this  time 
in  Rome,  to  prolong  her  travels,  and  visit  the  shrine 
of  S.  Jacopo  before  her  return.  "  In  old  days,"  he 
remarks  gaily,  "Your  Excellency  used  to  say  she 
had  a  great  wish  to  visit  the  shrine  of  S.  Jacopo  di 
Galicia.  It  seems  to  me  this  would  be  the  very  time 
to  go  there,  and  you  would  see  so  many  beautiful 
places  on  the  way  that  you  would  be  delighted !     I 

1  Luzio  in  Giom.  St.,  1900,  p.  74;  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1908,  p.  8. 

VOL.    II.  Q 


seem  to  hear  you  laugh,  thinking  that  I  am  saying 
this  in  jest,  to  remind  you  of  the  accursed  love  of 
travel  which  that  Signor  of  the  house  of  Este  left 
to  all  his  race  I  But  I  say  this  because  I  really  think 
the  journey  would  please  Your  Excellency.  I  know 
that  La  Brogna  will  not  approve,  because  of  her  wish 
to  return  to  Mantua,  and  will  hold  the  pardon  of 
Santa  Croce  more  precious  than  that  of  S.  Jacopo. 
Enough  that  I  have  given  you  my  advice.  Your 
Excellency  will  do  as  she  chooses."^  But  Isabella's 
wish  was  not  to  be  fulfilled,  and  she  never  went  to 
Spain,  or  saw  Castiglione  again. 

*  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  258. 



Isabella  goes  to  Rome — Visits  Urbino  and  Loreto — Is  received 
by  the  Pope  —  Occupies  the  Palazzo  SS.  Apostoli  —  Death 
of  Cardinal  Gonzaga  and  of  Duchess  Elisabetta  of  Urbino 
— The  Imperialists  advance  southwards — Passage  of  the  Po, 
and  death  of  Giovanni  delle  Bande  Nere  at  Mantua — Lannoy 
and  the  Pope  sign  a  truce — Bourbon  advances  against  Rome — 
The  Marquis  of  Mantua  warns  the  Pope — Isabella  refuses  to 
leave  Rome — Fortifies  her  house,  and  gives  shelter  to  ambas- 
sadors and  Roman  ladies — Ercole  Gonzaga  made  a  Cardinal. 

Early  in  January,  Isabella  sent  her  servants  to 
Rome,  to  prepare  the  Duke  of  Urbino's  palace  near 
the  church  of  S.  Maria  in  Via  Lata,  for  her  recep- 
tion. A  month  later  she  herself  started  on  the 
journey  with  a  small  suite,  including  her  new  secre- 
tary, Giovanni  Francesco  Tridapale,  and  her  old 
favourite,  Brogna,  who  was  restored  to  favour  after 
the  death  of  the  Marquis  Francesco,  and  resumed 
her  former  post  of  lady-in-waiting.  The  Marchesa 
was  also  accompanied  by  two  young  princesses  of 
remarkable  beauty  and  charm — Camilla  Gonzaga  di 
Novellara,  and  Giulia,  daughter  of  Lodovico  Gon- 
zaga of  Gazzuolo,  and  grand-daughter  of  Antonia 
del  Balzo,  who  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  being  the 
lovehest  woman  of  her  time.  After  spending  a  few 
days  at  Ferrara,  the  travellers  took  boat  for  Ravenna, 
and  then  rode  overland  to  Pesaro,  which  was  safely 

reached    on    the   17th    of    February.       Here    both 


244         ISABELLA   GOES   TO    ROME 

Duchesses  were  awaiting  the  Marchesa,  and  the 
whole  city  welcomed  her  with  the  greatest  joy. 
Guidobaldo  rode  out  with  a  troop  of  noble  youths  to 
meet  his  grandmother  three  miles  from  the  gates, 
and  Leonora  and  the  ladies  of  the  court  saluted 
her  at  the  foot  of  the  palace  steps.  EHsabetta, 
whose  health  had  been  failing  ever  since  her  return 
from  exile,  was  even  more  overjoyed  to  see  her 
beloved  sister-in-law ;  and,  instead  of  setting  out 
again  on  the  following  morning,  Isabella  was  per- 
suaded to  spend  two  nights  at  Pesaro.  A  pastoral 
play,  with  musical  interludes  and  dances,  was  per- 
formed in  her  honour  on  the  last  evening,  and  early 
the  next  day  the  Marchesa  left  for  Sinigaglia,  on 
the  way  to  Loreto. 

On  the  journey  from  Loreto  to  Rome,  she  re- 
ceived the  news  of  the  great  battle  which  had  been 
fought  at  Pavia  on  the  Emperor's  twenty-fifth  birth- 
day— the  Feast  of  St.  Matthias — and  of  the  complete 
defeat  and  capture  of  Francis  I.  Many  of  Isabella's 
friends  were  present  on  that  hard-fought  field.  Her 
nephew,  Charles  de  Bourbon,  and  her  kinsman,  the 
gallant  Pescara,  were  the  heroes  of  the  hour.  La 
Trdmouille,  La  Palisse,  Galeazzo  di  San  Severino, 
were  among  the  12,000  corpses  left  on  the  battle- 
field ;  while  Federico  di  Bozzolo  and  St.  Pol  and 
many  others  were  taken  prisoners  with  the  French 
king.  When  the  Marchesa  reached  Rome,  on  the 
1st  of  March,  she  found  the  Imperialists  exultant, 
and  the  Pope  half-dead  with  terror.  For  it  was 
openly  said  that  Charles  V.,  furious  with  Clement 
the  Seventh's  temporising  game,  vowed  that  he 
would  come  to  Italy  himself  and  give  His  Holiness 
a  lesson.     Under  these  circumstances,  the  Pope  was 

RAPHAEL'S   LEO   X.  245 

especially  anxious  to  retain  the  friendship  of  the 
Mantuan  princes.  When  he  heard  from  Pietro 
Aretino  that  Federico  was  exceedingly  anxious  to 
possess  Raphael's  portrait  of  Pope  Leo  X.,  which 
hung  in  the  Palazzo  Medici  at  Florence,  he  imme- 
diately gave  orders  that  this  famous  work  should 
be  presented  to  the  Marquis,  In  December  1524, 
Francesco  Gonzaga,  who  had  succeeded  Castiglione 
as  ambassador  at  the  Vatican,  wrote  to  inform  his 
lord  that  a  copy  of  the  picture  was  to  be  made  at 
once  by  some  good  Florentine  master,  and  that  as 
soon  as  this  was  done,  the  original  would  be  sent  to 
Mantua.^  Andrea  del  Sarto  was  selected  for  the 
task,  and  it  was  his  copy,  as  we  learn  from  Vasari, 
that  was  sent  to  Federico  by  Ottaviano  del  Medici 
in  the  following  August.  The  Pope's  kinsman  was 
naturally  reluctant  to  part  with  Raphael's  own  work, 
and  the  copy  was  so  admirable  that  even  Giulio 
Romano  did  not  discover  the  deception  until  Vasari 
himself  revealed  the  secret.^  The  same  causes 
prompted  His  Hohness  to  receive  the  Marchesa  with 
the  highest  honour. 

It  was  the  year  of  Jubilee,  but  very  few  pilgrims 
had  ventured  to  come  to  Rome  in  these  troubled 
times,  and  Isabella  was  the  only  visitor  of  distinc- 
tion who  attended  the  services  of  Holy  Week,  and 
received  plenary  indulgence.  The  Pope  supplied  her 
with  wheat,  barley,  wine,  sugar,  wax,  oil,  meat,  and 
fish  for  the  use  of  her  household,  and  invited  the 
INIarchesa  to  a  private  audience  on  the  9th  of  March. 
But  when  Isabella  explained  the  real  object  of  her 

^  A.  Baschet,  Arch.  St.  It.,  serie  tersa,  iii.  118-120;  D'Arco  e 
Braghirolli,  vii.  I92,  igs. 
2   Fite,  V.  41. 


journey,  and  asked  His  Holiness  to  make  her  son 
Ercole  a  Cardinal,  the  Pope  replied  with  evasive 
answers  and  civil  words.  The  Marchesa,  however, 
resolved  to  bide  her  time ;  and,  with  the  intention 
of  spending  the  summer  months  in  Rome,  accepted 
the  offer  of  the  Colonna  Palace,  close  to  the  Church 
of  the  SS.  Apostoli,  from  Cardinal  Pompeo  Colonna. 
In  this  splendid  house,  surrounded  with  beautiful  gar- 
dens, and  finely  situated  on  the  brow  of  the  Quirinal 
hill,  Isabella  spent  the  next  two  years,  and  wit- 
nessed the  awful  catastrophe  of  the  siege  and  sack 
of  Rome. 

For  a  time,  however,  all  went  well.  The  Pope, 
in  his  alarm,  consented  to  form  a  new  alliance  with 
the  victor  of  Pavia,  and  on  May-day  attended 
mass  at  the  Church  of  the  SS.  Apostoli,  and  was 
afterwards  entertained  at  a  banquet  in  the  house 
of  his  enemy.  Cardinal  Colonna.  From  the  window 
of  the  palace  looking  down  into  the  church,  the 
Pope  and  the  Marchesa  witnessed  the  strange  revels 
that  were  held  on  this  feast-day.  His  Holiness  and 
the  Cardinal  joined  in  letting  loose  hundreds  of  fowls, 
partridges,  quails,  and  pheasants  among  the  women  who 
thronged  the  sacred  precincts,  and  watched  men  climb- 
ing a  greasy  pole  to  reach  the  pig  at  the  top,  while 
spectators  from  the  neighbouring  houses  threw  pails  of 
water  over  them — "sports,"  adds  Marcello  Alberini, 
who  was  present,  "  which  are  hardly  convenient  in  a 
sacred  temple,  but  which  the  mob  joined  in  gladly, 
feeling  sure  they  would  never  take  place  again."  ^ 

Isabella's  old  friends  in  Rome  were,  for  the  most 
part,  dead  and  gone.  Cardinal  Bibbiena,  Giuliano  dei 
Medici,  Raphael  were  no  more,  and  Castiglione  was 

*  M.  Alberini,  Diarii,  &c. 

m   THE   COLONNA   PALACE         247 

far  away  in  Spain.  But  a  few  were  still  left.  Sadoleto 
was  papal  secretary ;  Paolo  Giovio  and  Chiericati — 
whom  the  last-named  prelate  calls  the  sweetest  of  all 
his  friends — were  both  at  the  Vatican ;  while  Pietro 
Bembo  came  to  Rome  that  winter  to  pay  his  re- 
spects to  Pope  Clement.  "  Only  the  other  day," 
wrote  the  Venetian  humanist  on  the  20th  of  April, 
"  I  saw  the  Lady  Marchesana,  honourably  attended 
by  a  fair  and  noble  company,  driving  about  in  her 
chariot,  which  is  as  fine  a  sight  as  it  is  a  novel  one 
in  Rome."^  Among  the  ladies  who  were  present 
with  Isabella  on  this  occasion  was  Camilla  Gonzaga 
di  Novellara,  whom  Bembo  honoured  with  his  special 
devotion,  and  with  whom  he  kept  up  a  lively  cor- 
respondence. After  he  left  Rome,  he  sent  this 
youthful  lady  some  of  his  sonnets,  begging  her  to 
present  his  salutations  to  the  Marchesana  and  to 
the  Venetian  ambassador,  Domenico  Venier,  whom 
he  asked  in  his  turn  to  love  and  honour  the  fair 
Camilla  a  little  more  warmly  for  his  sake  than  he 
would  naturally  do  on  his  own  account.^  Another 
humanist  who  was  deeply  attached  to  Camilla  Gon- 
zaga, the  poet  Molza,  came  to  Rome  in  March 
from  Bologna,  bringing  letters  to  the  Marchesa  from 
her  son  Ercole.  "  I  know,"  wrote  the  future  Car- 
dinal to  his  mother,  "how  much  you  delight  in  the 
company  of  learned  men,  but  yet  I  ask  you  for 
my  sake  to  receive  Molza  with  especial  kindness, 
and  I  am  sure  that  before  long  he  will  compel  you 
and  all  your  ladies  to  love  him  for  his  own  sake." 

So  Isabella's  house  became  once  more  the  meet- 
ing-place of  poets  and  men  of  letters,  who  accom- 

^  Leftere,  iv.  41. 

2  V.  Cian,  f/«  Decennio  nella  vita  di  M.  P.  Bembo,  p.  Sp. 


panied  her  in  her  walks  and  drives,  and  read  their 
verses  or  told  their  stories  under  the  ancient  rums 
of  the  Temple  of  the  Sun,  in  the  terraced  gardens 
looking  down  on  the  Baths  of  Const  ant  ine  and 
the  distant  Campagna.  Her  interest  in  antiques 
was  as  keen  as  ever ;  she  explored  the  ruins,  sought 
out  Roman  medals,  and  bargained  with  dealers  and 
collectors  over  the  prices  of  ancient  marbles  and 
mosaics.  Michel  Angelo  was  absent  working  for  the 
Pope  in  Florence,  but  she  made  friends  with  his 
follower,  Sebastiano  del  Piombo,  and  especially  ad- 
mired his  skill  in  painting  portraits.  She  visited 
all  the  famous  churches  and  shrines  in  turn,  and 
was  present  in  her  chariot  on  the  festival  when  all 
Rome  assembled  to  hear  the  witticisms  of  Pasquino, 
who  had  recovered  his  old  gaiety,  under  the  rule  of  a 
Medici  Pope. 

On  the  4th  of  October,  the  Marchesa  heard  of 
the  death  of  her  brother-in-law,  Cardinal  Sigismondo 
Gonzaga,  who  had  been  laid  up  for  many  months  at 
Mantua  with  gout  and  increasing  infirmities,  and 
without  a  moment's  delay,  she  hastened  to  the  Vatican 
and  entreated  the  Pope  to  confer  the  vacant  hat  on 
her  son  Ercole.  Clement  vacillated  as  usual  between 
his  wish  to  oblige  the  Marchesa  and  his  dread  of 
affronting  other  applicants,  but  Isabella  insisted  with 
so  much  force  that  in  the  end  the  Pope  promised  to 
make  Ercole  a  Cardinal  whenever  he  saw  his  way  to 
increasing  the  number  of  the  Sacred  College.  The 
Marchesa  left  his  presence,  with  a  brief  to  this  effect 
in  her  hands,  and  on  the  4th  of  November,  Bembo, 
writing  from  Padua  to  his  friend  Beazzano  in  Rome, 
remarked :  "  A  fortnight  ago,  the  Duke  of  Urbino 
showed  me  a  copy  of  a  brief  which  the  Pope  had 


addressed  to  Signer  Ercole  Gonzaga,  brother  of  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua,  promising,  on  the  faith  of  a  true 
Pope,  to  make  him  Cardinal  at  the  next  creation, 
and  this  I  think  will  take  place  very  soon."  And 
he  wrote  to  Ercole  in  the  same  strain,  advising  him 
to  go  to  Rome  himself  as  soon  as  possible.  The 
death  of  Sigismondo  was  a  blow  to  his  tender- 
hearted sister  Elisabetta.  Her  own  health  was  in  a 
very  precarious  state,  and  Federico  Gonzaga,  fearing 
the  effect  of  a  sudden  shock,  wrote  to  Emilia  Pia, 
begging  her  to  break  the  news  gently  to  his  aunt. 
But  early  in  January,  the  good  Duchess  became 
seriously  ill,  and  on  the  28th  she  passed  away,  to 
the  sorrow  of  her  family  and  subjects.  Both  the 
Duke  and  his  wife  were  absent  at  the  time,  and 
Leonora  wrote  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Verona 
to  tell  her  mother  of  Elisabetta's  serious  illness.  A 
few  days  later,  the  news  of  her  death  reached  them, 
and  they  both  wept  for  one  who  had  been  to  them 
the  best  of  mothers.  The  loss  of  this  devoted  sister 
and  friend  was  even  more  severely  felt  by  Isabella, 
who  had  been  closely  connected  with  Elisabetta  for 
the  last  forty-six  years,  and  the  Mantuan  ambassador, 
Francesco  Gonzaga,  gives  a  touching  account  of  the 
sorrow  with  which  she  received  the  news. 

"  Madama,"  he  writes  to  Federico  on  the  5th  of 
February,  "  has  felt  the  greatest  distress  at  the  death 
of  the  widowed  Duchess  of  blessed  memory,  and 
besides  the  ties  of  blood,  and  the  singular  love  which 
has  always  united  these  two  illustrious  princesses,  she 
grieves  over  the  loss  of  the  most  rare  lady  whom  this 
age  has  known.  But  it  is  the  will  of  God,  and  we 
can  only  bear  our  loss  in  patience.  The  news  of  the 
said   Duchess's    death    reached    the   ambassador    of 


Urbino  just  before  I  received  Your  Excellency's 
letter  on  Friday  evening,  and  as  the  hour  was  late, 
and  Madama  was  in  the  company  of  some  of  these 
Cardinals,  I  did  not  tell  her  until  the  following 
morning.  His  Holiness,  on  his  part,  showed  the 
greatest  sorrow  for  this  sad  event,  and,  in  conver- 
sation with  me,  remarked  that  we  had  lost  a  lady 
of  rare  gifts  and  singular  excellence,  and  that  he 
realised  this  the  more  fully  because  he  had  known  her 
intimately  in  the  darkest  days  of  her  life.  And  he 
observed  that  she  would  be  a  great  loss  to  the  Lord 
Duke,  whom  she  helped  by  her  wise  and  prudent 
counsels,  and  the  admirable  love  which  she  had  for 
his  subjects."  ^ 

But,  amongst  all  the  tributes  to  Elisabetta's 
memory,  that  which  her  old  friend  Bembo  paid  her 
was  the  truest  and  most  eloquent.  "  I  have  seen 
many  excellent  and  noble  women,"  he  wrote,  "  and 
have  heard  of  some  who  were  more  illustrious  for 
certain  virtues,  but  in  her  alone  among  women  all 
virtues  were  united  and  brought  together.  I  have 
never  seen  or  heard  of  any  one  who  was  her  equal, 
and  know  very  few  who  have  even  come  near 
her."  2 

The  words,  as  Lady  Eastlake  remarked,  may  well 
have  suggested  Shakespeare's  hues  : — 

"  For  several  virtues 
Have  I  liked  several  women,  never  any 
With  so  full  soul,  but  some  defect  in  her 
Did  quarrel  with  the  noblest  grace  she  owed 
And  sent  it  to  the  foil ;  but  you,  O  you. 
So  perfect  and  so  peerless  are  created 
Of  every  creature's  best."^ 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  274. 
2  Opera,  iv.  ^  Quarterly  Ucview,  Ixvi.  24. 

By  G.  Caboto. 

[To  face 'p-  250,  vol.  ii. 


Meanwhile  important  political  events  were  taking 
place.  On  the  14th  of  January,  the  Treaty  of 
Madrid  was  signed,  and  Francis  I.  was  released  from 
captivity.  But  hardly  had  he  set  foot  in  France  than 
the  Pope  absolved  him  from  his  oath  to  observe  the 
conditions  of  the  treaty,  and  himself  joined  the  new 
League  against  the  Emperor  with  France,  Venice, 
Florence,  and  the  Duke  of  Milan.  The  Marquis  of 
Mantua,  who  was  kept  informed  by  his  mother,  and 
Francesco  Gonzaga,  of  all  that  happened  in  Rome, 
remained  strictly  neutral,  and  begged  the  Pope's 
leave  to  abstain  from  taking  up  arms  against  his  liege 
lord  the  Emperor,  while  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  whom 
Clement  VII.  refused  to  admit  into  the  League, 
made  a  secret  agreement  with  Charles  V.,  and  sup- 
plied his  troops  with  provisions  and  ammunition. 
The  Pope  was  more  furious  than  ever  with  his  old 
enemy.  "  If  the  Duke  wishes  to  make  the  Emperor 
master  of  all  Italy,"  he  exclaimed,  "  let  him  try  his 
worst !  Much  good  may  it  do  him  ! "  ^  Guido 
Rangone  now  led  the  papal  forces  to  join  the  Duke 
of  Urbino,  who,  as  Venetian  general,  assumed  the 
chief  command  of  the  armies  of  the  League.  But 
whether  owing  to  ill-health  or  excessive  caution, 
Francesco  Maria  allowed  the  Castello  of  Milan  to 
fall  into  the  hands  of  the  Imperialists  without  striking 
a  blow  in  its  defence,  and  the  unfortunate  Sforza  was 
compelled  to  capitulate,  on  the  24th  of  July.  He 
retired  to  Lodi,  and  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  after 
taking  Cremona,  left  the  camp,  and  joined  his  wife 
at  Mantua. 

For  a  time  all  remained  quiet  in  Rome.     Isabella 

^  Gayaugos,  "  Spanish  Calendar  of  Letters"  ;  Creighton,  "Hist, 
of  the  Papacy,"  vi.  330,  &e. 


spent  the  summer  pleasantly,  entertaining  her  friends 
and  collecting  antiques  and  pictures.  On  the  2Gth 
of  July,  the  wedding  of  Vespasiano  Colonna,  the 
head  of  his  powerful  house,  and  of  the  beautiful 
Giulia  Gonzaga,  was  celebrated  in  the  Marchesa's 
palace.  The  bridegroom  was  already  an  elderly 
man,  and  had  one  daughter  by  a  former  marriage, 
named  Isabella,  the  richest  heiress  in  Italy,  whom 
the  Pope  destined  to  be  the  bride  of  his  young 
cousin  Ippolito  dei  Medici.  But  his  vast  wealth  and 
position  made  the  match  a  briUiant  one  for  the  young 
Gonzaga  princess,  and  gave  the  Marchesa  especial 
satisfaction.  The  wedding  was  solemnised  with  great 
splendour.  Vespasiano  took  his  fair  bride  to  his 
castle  of  Palliano  in  the  Campagna,  and  no  one 
dreamt  of  the  storm  that  was  about  to  burst. 

Two  months  later,  on  the  20th  of  September, 
Rome  was  startled  by  a  sudden  inroad  of  the 
Colonnas.  Vespasiano  and  Ascanio  Colonna,  to- 
gether with  their  kinsman  Cardinal  Pompeo,  and 
the  Imperial  envoy  Don  Ugo  di  Moncada,  entered  the 
Lateran  Gate  without  opposition,  marched  through 
the  city,  and  encamped  in  the  Piazza  SS.  Apostoli, 
under  the  windows  of  Isabella's  palace.  The  Pope 
and  Cardinals  fled  to  the  Castell  Sant'  Angelo,  the 
Spanish  soldiers  pillaged  the  Vatican,  and  carried  off 
the  gold  and  silver  plate  from  the  altars  of  St.  Peter's. 
Even  Chiericati,  whose  Imperialist  sympathies  were 
known  to  aU,  and  who  stood  high  in  Charles  the 
Fifth's  favour,  was  unable  to  save  his  property.  In 
his  terror,  Clement  sent  for  Moncada,  and  promised 
to  withdraw  from  the  League.  The  invading  force 
retired,  and  the  Pope  recalled  his  troops  to  Rome, 
and   employed    them    to   wreak   vengeance   on   the 


castles  and  dependants  of  the  Colonnas  in  the 
Campagna.  But  in  November  the  German  captain, 
Frundsberg,  crossed  the  Alps  with  12,000  lands- 
knechte,  and  after  a  few  skirmishes  with  the  Duke 
of  Urbino's  forces,  succeeded  in  effecting  a  junction 
with  Bourbon  at  Piacenza. 

Isabella  heard  from  her  son  of  the  death  of  Gio- 
vanni delle  Bande  Nere,  the  son  of  her  old  frienci 
Giovanni  dei  Medici  and  Caterina  Sforza,  and  the 
one  leader  of  mark  in  the  armies  of  the  League. 
This  gallant  soldier  was  mortally  wounded  in  a  des- 
perate attempt  to  prevent  the  Imperialists  from 
crossing  the  Po  at  Governolo,  and  was  carried 
through  thickly  falling  snow  to  the  house  of  Lodo- 
vico  Gonzaga  in  Mantua.  There  the  Duke  of  Urbino 
came  to  visit  the  dying  hero,  and  his  old  enemy,  the 
Marquis  Federico,  showed  him  every  courtesy.  "  He 
kissed  him  tenderly,"  writes  Pietro  Aretino,  in  the 
letter  describing  his  friend's  last  moments,  "  and 
spoke  gracious  words,  such  as  I  never  heard  from 
any  prince  saving  only  Francesco  Maria."  Federico, 
deeply  moved  at  the  sight  of  this  brave  man  lying 
on  his  death-bed,  begged  him  to  ask  for  some  favour, 
since  in  his  Hfetime  he  had  refused  to  accept  any- 
thing at  his  hands.  "  Love  me  when  I  am  dead,'' 
said  Giovanni.  "That  I  will  indeed,"  replied  the 
Marquis,  "and  more  than  this,  I,  and  many  others, 
will  never  cease  to  lament  the  loss  of  so  noble  and 
excellent  a  prince."^  Soon  afterwards,  the  Ch^an 
diavolo,  as  his  soldiers  called  him,  breathed  his  last, 
to  the  great  regret  of  his  kinsman  Pope  Clement. 
"Et  en  verity,"  wrote  the  French  ambassador,  Du 
Bellay,  "  c'estoit  un  grand  homme  de  guerre." 

'   Pasolini,  Caterina  Sforza,  ii.  39. 


The  Duke  of  Urbino  now  retreated  towards  the 
Venetian  frontier,  and  the  ImperiaHst  leaders,  finding 
that  no  further  opposition  was  offered,  continued 
their  march  southwards,  ravaging  the  country  and 
hving  on  plunder.  Frundsberg  was  left  at  Ferrara 
dangerously  ill,  and  Bourbon  found  himself  power- 
less to  restrain  the  savage  hordes  of  German  lands- 
knechtCi  clamouring  for  pay.  Meanwhile,  Renzo  da 
Ceri  took  the  command  of  the  papal  forces  south 
of  Rome,  and  succeeded  in  repulsing  the  Imperialists 
under  Lannoy,  Viceroy  of  Naples.  Encouraged  by 
this  success,  the  Pope  opened  negotiations  with 
Lannoy,  who  came  to  Rome  on  the  25th  of  March, 
and  signed  a  truce  of  eight  months.  Clement  VII. 
agreed  to  withdraw  his  troops  from  Naples,  while 
Bourbon  was  to  retire  into  Lombardy  on  payment 
of  60,000  ducats.  Lannoy  went  to  meet  Bourbon 
at  Florence,  and  the  Pope,  lulled  into  false  security, 
disbanded  his  forces  in  spite  of  repeated  warnings 
from  the  Marquis  of  Mantua.  "  The  prudent  advice 
given  by  Your  Excellency  in  your  letter  of  the  28th 
to  the  Pope,"  wrote  Francesco  Gonzaga,  "  telling  him 
not  to  disarm  in  spite  of  the  truce,  was  as  necessary 
as  it  is  worthy  of  praise,  but  His  HoHness  seems 
already  to  have  surrendered  at  discretion,  There  is 
no  doubt  that  it  is  the  fixed,  absolute  will  of  God 
to  ruin  both  the  Church  and  her  ruler."  ^ 

At  the  same  time,  Federico  entreated  his  mother 
to  return  to  Mantua  at  once.  But  Isabella  was  de- 
termined not  to  leave  Rome  without  Ercole's  hat,  and 
replied  that  it  would  be  time  to  think  of  taking  her 
departure  when  the  landsknechte  were  at  the  gates. 
And  since    her   nephew   was    in    command   of  the 

^  Gregorovius,  Rom,  viii.  507. 


Imperial  army,  and  her  son  Ferrante  had  hun-ied 
back  from  Spain  to  join  him,  she  had  Httle  cause 
to  fear  for  her  own  safety. 

Lannoy  now  hastened  to  meet  Bourbon,  according 
to  his  promise.  He  found  the  ImperiaUst  general  at 
the  foot  of  the  Apennines,  and  told  him  of  the 
truce  which  had  been  signed  in  Rome.  But  the 
Germans  and  Spaniards  alike  refused  to  accept  these 
terms,  and  since  the  Duke  of  Urbino  was  guarding 
the  passes  towards  Florence,  demanded  to  be  led 
against  the  papal  city.  Lannoy,  seeing  that  he  was 
powerless,  went  on  to  Siena,  while  Bourbon  addressed 
a  letter  to  the  Pope  asking  for  240,000  ducats,  and 
resumed  his  march  across  the  Apennines,  along  the 
great  high-road  to  Rome. 

On  the  2nd  of  May,  news  reached  the  Vatican 
that  Bourbon  was  at  Viterbo.  Then  the  Pope  for 
the  first  time  realised  the  peril  of  the  situation,  and 
sent  a  courier  to  implore  the  Duke  of  Urbino  to 
hasten  to  his  help.  Many  of  the  panic-stricken 
citizens  carried  their  treasures  to  the  Castell  Sant' 
Angelo,  or  buried  them  underground.  Others  pre- 
pared to  fly,  but  were  stopped  by  a  decree  from  the 
Pope  forbidding  any  citizen  to  leave  Rome  on  pain  of 
death.  The  gates  were  closed,  and  Renzo  da  Ceri 
hastily  levied  a  few  hundred  troops  and  strengthened 
the  defences  of  the  city.  "  This  morning,"  wrote  the 
French  ambassador,  Du  Bellay,  "  I  spent  a  whole 
hour  with  the  Pope.  It  is  difficult  to  express  the 
terror  he  is  in,  but  I  did  my  best  to  inspire  him  with 
a  little  courage.  He  wished  Renzo  to  collect  1000 
men,  but  it  was  impossible  to  raise  as  many  ducats."^ 
In  this  extremity,  Clement  took  the  only  means  of 

'  Guicciardini,  Opere  inedite,  v. 

256       ERCOLE    MADE   A   CARDINAL 

raising  money  in  his  power,  and  appointed  five  new 
Cardinals,  who  each  paid  40,000  ducats  as  the  price  of 
his  elevation.  One  of  the  five  was  Ercole  Gonzaga, 
whom  the  Pope  chose  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of 
many  of  the  Cardinals,  who  could  not  forgive  his 
brother  Ferrante  for  serving  with  Bourbon.  But 
this  was  not  the  time  to  raise  objections,  and  on  Sun- 
day the  5th  of  May,  when  Bourbon  was  already 
under  the  walls  of  Rome,  the  red  hat  was  borne  to 
the  Palazzo  Colonna,  and  safely  delivered  to  the 
Marchesa  by  Cardinal  Pizzino.  The  desire  of  Isa- 
bella's heart  was  at  length  gratified,  but  she  could 
no  longer  leave  Rome.^  In  this  critical  moment  the 
Marchesa  showed  remarkable  presence  of  mind.  She 
sent  a  messenger  to  her  son  Ferrante  and  to  Charles 
de  Bourbon,  asking  them  to  protect  her  house  if 
they  captured  the  city.  At  the  same  time,  she 
ordered  the  palace  to  be  fortified  and  garrisoned,  and 
laid  in  provisions  to  enable  her  followers  to  stand  a 

On  Saturday  the  4th  of  IMay,  Bourbon  sent  a 
herald  to  Renzo  da  Ceri,  asking  him  to  give  his  forces 
provisions  and  a  free  passage  to  Naples.  These  pro- 
posals were  rejected  with  scorn,  but  the  same  envoy 
conveyed  a  message  to  Isabella  from  Bourbon,  telling 
her  to  fortify  and  defend  her  house  until  he  had 
entered  the  city  and  was  able  to  provide  for  her 
safety.  During  the  next  two  days  a  number  of 
wealthy  Romans  and  noble  ladies,  including  Madonna 
Felice  Orsim,  the  daughter  of  Pope  Julius,  sought 
shelter  within  the  walls  of  her  palace,  and  as  many 
as  3000  souls  are  said  to  have  found  protection  there. 
Both  Francesco  Gonzaga,  the  Mantuan  envoy,  and 
*  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xlv.  207. 


the  ambassadors  of  Ferrara  and  Urbino  were  among 
the  fugitives  whom  Isabella  received ;  and  on  the 
morning  of  the  6th  of  May,  when  the  invaders  were 
already  in  the  Borgo,  the  Venetian  envoy,  Domenico 
Venier,  being  unable  to  reach  Castell  Sant'  Angelo, 
took  refuge  under  the  same  hospitable  roof  Then 
the  gates  were  barricaded,  and  the  brave  Marchesa 
calmly  awaited  the  issue. 

VOL.    II. 



Siege  of  Rome — Death  of  Bourbon — Rome  sacked  during  three 
days — Alessandro  and  Ferrante  Gonzaga  protect  Isabella's 
palace — Scenes  of  carnage  in  the  city — Cruelty  and  sacrilege 
of  the  soldiers — Isabella  leaves  Rome  for  Ostia — Returns  to 
Mantua — Is  received  with  great  joy — Escape  of  the  Venetian 
ambassador — General  horror  at  the  capture  and  sack  of  Rome 
— Grief  of  Isabella's  friends — Letters  of  Bembo,  of  Erasmus, 
and  of  Sadoleto — Death  of  Castiglione  in  Spain. 

On  the  evening  of  Sunday  the  5th  of  May,  the 
ImperiaHst  army  crossed  Monto  Mario  and  encamped 
under  the  walls  of  Rome.  At  midnight  the  trumpets 
sounded,  and  in  the  early  dawn  the  assault  began. 
The  point  chosen  for  attack  was  on  the  Vatican  hill, 
between  the  Porta  Torrione  and  S.  Spirito,  where 
the  walls  were  lowest,  and  the  assailants  were  hidden 
by  the  thick  white  fog  which  clung  to  the  banks  of 
the  river.  But  a  heavy  fire  from  Renzo  da  Ceri's 
men  on  the  walls  and  from  the  guns  of  Sant'  Angelo 
thinned  their  ranks.  For  a  moment  the  result 
seemed  doubtful.  Then  Bourbon,  a  splendid  figure 
in  his  silver  armour,  sprang  from  his  horse,  seized 
a  ladder,  and,  calling  on  his  men  to  follow  him, 
began  to  scale  the  wall  near  the  Campo  Santo.  But 
hardly  had  he  set  foot  upon  it  than  he  fell  back, 
struck  by  a  musket-ball  in  the  groin,  crying,  "  Ha^ 
Notre  Dame^je  suis  mort."^  The  Prince  of  Orange 
threw  his  mantle  over  him,  and  his  attendants  bore 

DEATH   OJb'   BOURBON  259 

him  into  the  neighbouring  chapel,  where  he  breathed 
his  last  half  an  hour  later,  still  repeating  the  words, 
** A  Rome!  a  Rome!"^  Benvenuto  Cellini,  it  is 
well  known,  claimed  to  have  fired  the  shot  which 
took  such  fatal  effect,  and  his  boast  receives  some 
support  from  the  statement  of  an  eye-witness,  that 
Bourbon  was  shot  by  one  of  the  Pope's  goldsmiths, 
who  stood  on  the  waU  and  singled  him  out  as  a 
person  of  importance. 

The  Spanish  troops,  maddened  at  seeing  their 
leader  fall,  returned  to  the  attack  with  fresh  courage  ; 
a  breach  was  made  in  the  walls  near  Santo  Spirito, 
and  the  wild  hordes  of  soldiery  burst  upon  the  ill- 
fated  city.  The  Pope  was  in  St.  Peter's  kneeling 
before  the  altar,  when  the  news  reached  him  that  the 
foes  were  in  the  Borgo.  He  saw  the  Swiss  guards 
flying  before  the  landsknechte,  and  heard  the  cries  of 
"  Spagna  !  Impero  !  "  which  rang  through  the  streets, 
as  his  attendants  hurried  him  along  the  passage  to 
the  Castello.  Thirteen  Cardinals  followed  in  his 
steps,  and  Paolo  Giovio  threw  his  purple  mantle  over 
the  Pope,  lest  his  white  robes  should  attract  attention 
as  he  crossed  the  wooden  bridge  into  Sant'  Angelo.^ 
One  old  Cardinal,  Armellini,  was  drawn  up  ""in  a 
basket  after  the  portculhs  had  been  let  down. 
Another,  the  aged  Cardinal  Pucci,  was  dragged 
half  dead  with  fright  and  exhaustion,  through  a 
window.^  The  English  and  French  envoys,  Gregory 
Casale  and  Alberto  Pio  of  Carpi,  had  already  taken 
refuge  there,  and  were  joined  later  in  the  afternoon 
by  Renzo  da  Ceri,  who,  after  a  vain  attempt  to  defend 

^  Gregorovius,  Rom,  viii.  526. 
'  P.  Giovio,  Vita  P.  Colonna. 
8  Gregorovius,  op.  cit,  viii.  526. 

260  SACK   OF   ROME 

Trastevere,  gave  up  all  for  lost  and  galloped  over 
the  Ponte  Sisto  to  the  Castello.  Luigi  Rodomonte, 
the  gallant  young  Gonzaga  captain,  led  the  Italian 
contingent  of  the  Imperialist  force  over  the  Montorio 
and  across  the  Ponte  Sisto  into  the  heart  of  the  city. 
By  half-past  five  the  fighting  was  over,  and  the 
Germans  encamped  on  the  Campo  di  Fiore,  while 
the  Spaniards  occupied  Piazza  Navona,  and  Ferrante 
Gonzaga  guarded  the  bridge  of  Sant'  Angelo  and  the 
approach  to  the  Castello.  Then  these  savage  hordes 
of  soldiery  were  let  loose.  Thousands  of  rude  Ger- 
mans and  fierce  Spaniards  rushed  upon  the  defenceless 
citizens,  hurled  women  and  children  out  of  the  win- 
dows, and  tortured  their  innocent  victims  to  discover 
hidden  booty.  In  their  wild  frenzy  these  ruffians 
showed  neither  pity  nor  reverence.  Churches  and 
convents  were  robbed  and  burnt,  altars  stripped  of 
their  sacred  vessels,  nuns  outraged,  and  Cardinals 
dragged  naked  through  the  streets.  The  Prince  of 
Orange  took  up  his  quarters  in  the  Vatican,  and 
thus  succeeded  in  saving  the  papal  library  and  art 
treasures ;  but  the  Flemish  tapestries,  executed  from 
Raphael's  cartoons,  were  stolen,  and  the  landsknechte 
stabled  their  horses  in  the  Stanze  adorned  by  the 
great  master  of  Urbino.  The  archives  of  the  Capitol 
perished,  and  countless  family  records  and  manuscripts 
of  priceless  value  were  lost.  The  great  gold  Cross  of 
Constantine  was  carried  off  from  the  gates  of  St. 
Peter's,  and  the  graves  of  Pope  Julius  II.  and  of 
the  Prince  of  the  Apostles  himself  were  rifled.  The 
unspeakable  horrors  of  the  next  three  days  are  best 
described  by  the  Imperial  Commissioner,  Gattinara,  in 
the  letter  which  he  addressed  to  his  imperial  master : 
"  All  the  church  ornaments  were  stolen,  all  the  sacred 


relics  destroyed.  Even  the  Sancta  Sanctorum  in  the 
Lateran,  that  most  ancient  and  hoHest  shrine,  was 
sacked,  and  the  Volto  Santo,  or  veil  of  Veronica,  was 
passed  from  hand  to  hand  in  the  taverns  of  Lungara. 
The  Church  of  St.  Peter  and  the  Pope's  palace,  from 
top  to  bottom,  were  turned  into  stables.  There  was 
no  leader  to  control  our  soldiers,  and  no  discipline 
anywhere.  The  Prince  of  Orange  and  our  other 
captains  did  what  they  could,  but  to  little  purpose. 
The  landsknechte  behaved  like  true  Lutherans,  the 
rest  like  brutes.  No  one  of  any  age  or  sex  escaped. 
All  alike  were  tortured  and  plundered."  ^ 

From  the  windows  of  the  Palazzo  Colonna,  Isa- 
bella d'Este  and  her  ladies  looked  down  on  these 
awful  scenes.  They  heard  the  agonising  shrieks  of 
the  women  and  the  groans  of  the  dying,  and,  over  all, 
the  sullen  booming  of  the  guns  of  Sant'  Angelo.  As 
they  waited  in  terrible  suspense  through  the  long 
hours,  many  among  them  thought  that  their  last 
moment  had  come.  At  length,  as  it  was  growing 
dusk,  a  captain,  wearing  the  black,  red,  and  white 
imperial  colours  in  his  helmet,  was  seen  running 
across  the  piazza.  Camilla  Gonzaga  looked  out 
and  joyfully  recognised  her  brother  Alessandro,  who 
was  making  his  way  on  foot  to  the  palace  gates. 
Immediately  ropes  were  let  down  from  the  lofty 
battlements,  and  the  gallant  Count  was  drawn  up 
to  the  windows.  Then  Isabella  learnt  from  her  kins- 
man's lips  all  that  had  happened.  He  told  her  how 
the  city  had  been  stormed,  and  her  nephew  Bourbon 
slain  in  the  act  of  scaling  the  walls,  and  how  his 
body  was  now  lying  in  state  in  the  Sistine  Chapel, 
while  the  Pope  and  Cardinals  had  fled  to  the  Cas- 

^  Dennistoun,  "  Dukes  of  Urbino,"  vol.  iii.  App. 


tello.  Before  his  tale  was  ended,  a  Spanish  cavalier, 
Don  Alonzo  da  Cordova,  arrived,  and  told  the 
Marchesa  that  the  evening  before,  he  had  received 
orders  from  the  dead  Duke  to  take  her  house  under 
his  protection.  Finally,  about  ten  o'clock  at  night, 
Ferrante  himself  arrived  in  hot  haste,  having  been 
unable  to  leave  his  post  at  the  bridge  of  Sant'  Angelo 
until  this  instant.  Isabella,  who  had  not  seen  her 
son  since  he  started  for  Spain  three  years  before, 
welcomed  him  with  tears  of  joy,  and  Ferrante,  on 
his  part,  was  greatly  relieved  to  find  his  mother  and 
her  friends  unhurt.  Her  house  was  the  only  one  in 
Rome  that  escaped,  excepting  the  Cancellaria,  which 
was  occupied  by  Cardinal  Colonna.  The  palaces 
of  the  Cardinals  who  belonged  to  the  Imperialist 
party,  and  had,  therefore,  thought  themselves  safe, 
were  stormed  and  plundered,  and  the  house  of  the 
Portuguese  ambassador,  the  Emperor's  own  nephew, 
was  ruthlessly  sacked.  Even  Ferrante  Gonzaga's 
presence  could  not  save  the  distinguished  person- 
ages who  had  found  shelter  in  the  Marchesa's  palace 
from  paying  a  heavy  ransom.  "  It  was  hard  work 
for  me  to  save  Madama,"  wrote  Ferrante  to  his 
brother  the  Marquis,  "for  a  report  had  been  spread 
abroad  in  the  camp  that  she  had  more  than  two 
millions  of  treasure  in  her  palace,  and  this  was  en- 
tirely due  to  her  compassion,  which  made  her  receive 
more  than  1200  ladies  and  1000  citizens  within  its 
walls."  In  the  end  it  was  decided  that  the  Marchesa 
and  her  household  should  be  exempted  from  ransom, 
but  that  all  the  other  refugees  in  the  palace  should 
pay  down  a  sum  of  60,000  ducats,  of  which  Ferrante 
told  his  brother  he  did  not  receive  a  single  farthing.^ 

^  Gregorovius,  Rom,  viii.  540. 


"  Signor  Ferrante  and  Signor  Luigi  [Rodomonte] 
have  gained  little  or  nothing  in  the  sack  of  Rome," 
wrote  a  Venetian  from  the  camp  of  the  League,  after 
conversing  with  some  of  the  fugitives  who  had  been 
released  by  these  captains.  "  Rather,  to  their  credit 
be  it  said,  they  have  lost  and  spent  their  own  fortunes 
in  saving  their  personal  friends  who  were  unable  to 
pay  the  ransom  which  the  landsknechte  and  Spaniards 
exacted  from  their  victims.  People  cannot  say  too 
much  of  Signor  Luigi,  whose  generosity  and  liberahty 
are  beyond  all  praise."  ^ 

The  Venetian  ambassador,  Domenico  Venier,  was 
claimed  by  Alessandro  Gonzaga  as  his  prisoner,  the 
Count  gallantly  desiring  Madama  to  fix  the  price 
of  his  ransom.  Even  then  he  had  no  easy  task 
to  save  the  envoy  from  being  massacred  or  carried 
off  to  Spain  by  Don  Alonzo,  who  offered  to  pay 
Alessandro  5000  ducats,  if  he  would  give  up  his 
captive.  As  the  ambassador  told  the  Doge,  he  owed 
his  life  solely  to  the  intercession  of  Signor  Ferrante 
and  his  illustrious  mother,  who  promised  to  be  re- 
sponsible for  their  kinsman's  prisoner.  Finally  he  wias 
allowed  to  remain  with  Madama,  on  condition  that 
she  would  deliver  him  into  the  Count's  hands  at 
Mantua,  or  pay  the  ransom  which  had  been  agreed 
upon.  The  poor  Venetian  afterwards  addressed  a 
pitiful  appeal  to  the  Doge  from  Civitavecchia,  implor- 
ing His  Serenity  to  intercede  with  the  Marquis  on 
his  behalf,  since  he  had  lost  everything  in  the  siege, 
and  if  he  went  to  prison  at  Novellara  he  would 
certainly  die.  As  it  was,  his  secretaries  had  to  pay  a 
ransom  of  150  ducats  each,  and  Don  Alonzo  de- 
manded   10,000  ducats   from  the   Magnifico   Marc- 

1   M,  Sanuto,  Dia?ii,  xlv.  206. 

264        BRUTALITY   OF   THE   VICTORS 

antonio  Giustiniani,  because  he  heard  that  this 
wealthy  prelate  had  offered  the  Pope  40,000  ducats 
to  be  made  a  Cardinal.  Another  Venetian  patrician, 
Marco  Grimani,  was  more  fortunate,  and  left  Rome 
disguised  as  a  muleteer  in  the  Marchesa's  suite.^ 
Even  when  this  bargain  had  been  concluded  with 
the  Spanish  captain,  the  landsknechte  threatened  to 
storm  the  palace,  complaining  that  they  had  been 
deprived  of  their  share  of  the  ransom,  and  were  only 
prevented  from  carrying  out  their  intention  by  the 
Prince  of  Orange,  who  left  a  stout  German  captain, 
Johann  by  name,  with  a  strong  garrison  to  defend 
the  house. 

On  the  9th,  the  Prince  issued  a  decree  forbidding 
all  plundering,  and  summoning  the  troops  to  arms ; 
but  the  demoralised  soldiers  paid  no  heed  to  his 
orders,  and  during  a  whole  week  the  same  scenes 
of  violence  and  carnage  were  repeated.  The  palaces 
of  the  Cardinals  Delia  Valle,  Siena,  Cesarini,  and 
Enckefort,  who  had  paid  a  heavy  ransom  to  the 
Spaniards,  were  afterwards  sacked  by  the  Germans, 
and  these  prelates  were  only  saved  by  taking  refuge 
in  the  Cancellaria.  When  Cardinal  Colonna  returned 
to  Rome  on  the  10th  of  May,  he  burst  into  tears 
at  the  scene  that  met  his  eyes.  Paolo  Giovio  hailed 
the  coming  of  this  prelate,  who  had  been  the  Pope's 
most  bitter  enemy,  as  that  of  an  angel  from  heaven, 
and  tells  us  that  during  the  next  few  days  he  rescued 
no  less  than  500  unhappy  nuns,  as  well  as  countless 
other  victims  of  every  age  and  sex,  from  the  hands  of 
the  cruel  Germans  and  still  more  cruel  Spaniards. 

"And  all  this  miseiy  has  been  caused  by  the 
Duke    of  Urbino.     Either    this    man   has   not  the 

^  M,  Sanuto,  Diarii,  xlv.  214. 


courage  to  face  the  enemy,  or  else  he  rejoices  in  the 
Pope's  ruin."  So  wrote  Guicciardini,  the  Floren- 
tine commissioner,  from  the  camp  of  the  League  at 
Isola,  nine  miles  from  Rome.  Francesco  Maria's 
conduct  was  indeed  inexplicable.  He  was  either, 
as  the  historian  suggests,  indifferent  to  the  deliver- 
ance of  Rome,  or  else  the  most  incapable  of  generals. 
On  the  3rd  of  May,  he  set  out  with  his  army  from 
Florence.  On  the  6th,  Federico  of  Bozzolo  pushed 
forward  with  800  horse,  but  was  delayed  by  an  un- 
lucky accident.  His  horse  fell,  and  the  brave  captain 
broke  his  arm  and  leg,  and  had  to  be  left  at  Viterbo. 
His  lieutenant,  Pepoli,  arrived  at  Ponte  Molle,  only 
to  find  that  he  was  too  late.  The  enemy  were  already 
in  the  Borgo,  and  with  his  small  force  he  could  do 
nothing.  The  bulk  of  the  army  did  not  reach  Isola 
till  the  22nd.  Even  then  the  Duke  declared  that 
he  could  do  nothing  to  help  the  Pope  until  he  had 
received  reinforcements. 

"  The  end  of  it  all  is,"  Guicciardini  writes,  "  that 
the  Pope  has  been  left  to  his  fate.  I  need  not  say 
whose  the  fault  is.  ...  I  am  no  general,  and  do  not 
understand  the  art  of  war,  but  I  may  tell  you  what 
all  the  world  is  saying,  that  if,  when  the  news  of  the 
capture  of  Rome  reached  us,  we  had  pressed  on  to 
the  relief  of  the  Castello,  we  should  have  released 
the  Pope  and  Cardinals,  and  might  have  crushed  the 
enemy  and  saved  the  unhappy  city.  But  all  the 
world  knows  what  our  haste  has  been !  .  .  .  You 
would  really  think  that  we  had  to  do,  not  with  the 
deliverance  of  this  unhappy  Pope,  on  whom  we  all 
depend,  or  with  the  rescue  of  this  great  city  in  its 
death-agony,  but  with  some  trifling  matter.  So  the 
poor  Pope  remains  in  the  Castello,  begging  for  help 


so  earnestly  that  his  entreaties  would  melt  the  very 
stones,  and  in  so  abject  a  state  of  misery  that  even 
the  Turks  are  filled  with  pity  I " ' 

The  Pope's  condition  was  indeed  pitiable,  and  he 
had  many  months  of  cruel  indignities  to  bear  before 
an  agreement  with  the  Emperor  was  finally  signed 
on  the  9th  of  December.  Even  then  his  terror  was 
so  great  that  he  preferred  to  escape  by  night  with 
the  help  of  an  Imperialist  captain.  Leaving  the 
Castello  by  a  secret  door,  disguised  as  a  pedlar,  he 
mounted  a  horse  which  was  waiting  for  him  in  the 
Vatican  gardens,  and  rode  to  Orvieto  under  the  escort 
of  the  gallant  Luigi  Rodomonte. 

Long  before  this,  Isabella  d'Este  had  left  Rome.^ 
As  soon  as  some  degree  of  order  had  been  restored, 
on  the  13th  of  May,  her  son  Ferrante,  with  a  strong 
body  of  Spanish  and  Italian  guards,  escorted  the 
Marchesa  and  her  suite,  together  with  the  three 
ambassadors,  to  the  shore  of  the  Tiber,  where  galleys 
were  waiting  to  take  them  to  Ostia.^  There  they 
were  detained  six  days  by  rough  weather,  and  when 
Isabella,  impatient  to  proceed  on  her  journey,  set 
sail  in  one  of  Andrea  Doria's  ships,  a  terrific  storm 
suddenly  arose.  After  escaping  from  this  peril,  the 
travellers  sailed  into  smooth  water  and  reached 
Civitavecchia  on  the  morning  of  the  23rd  of  May 
in  beautiful  weather.*  The  next  day  they  took 
horse  and  rode  overland  by  Corneto,  Toscanella, 
and  Pesaro  to  Ravenna,  leaving  the  treasures 
of  antique  marbles,  pictures,  and  gems  which  the 
Marchesa  had  collected  in  Rome  to  go  by  sea  to 
Leghorn.     Wherever    Isabella  and  her  companions 

^  Guicciardini,  Op.  Inedite,  vol.  ix.      ^  A.  Reumont,  Rom.,  iii.  220. 
'  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit.  xlv.  216,  &c.       *  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit.  xlv.  220. 


came,  they  were  greeted  with  breathless  inquiries  as 
to  the  fate  of  Rome,  and  told  the  same  terrible  tale 
of  the  awful  disasters  which  had  befallen  the  once 
glorious  city. 

Isabella  s  own  family  had  been  full  of  anxiety  on 
her  account.  When  the  first  news  of  the  death  of 
Bourbon  and  the  sack  of  Rome  reached  the  camp 
of  the  League,  it  was  feared  that  she  had  perished 
in  the  general  ruin.  On  the  14th  of  May,  the  Duke 
of  Urbino's  secretary,  writing  from  Orvieto  to  Leo- 
nora, who  was  at  Venice  with  her  children,  said 
that  the  Portuguese  ambassador's  house  had  been 
sacked  by  the  brutal  soldiery,  greedy  for  gold,  and 
that  the  same  was  reported  of  Madama's  house, 
which  God  forbid  I  It  was  known,  however,  that  the 
ambassador  of  Urbino  and  many  illustrious  person- 
ages had  found  shelter  under  the  Marchesa's  roof, 
and  that,  alone  among  the  Roman  palaces,  the  house 
had  been  strongly  fortified.  The  Marquis  Federico 
heard  from  Florence  that  only  the  Castello  Sant' 
Angelo  and  a  palace  which  held  a  Marchesa  and 
many  nobles  had  escaped  the  fury  of  the  destroyers ; 
but  it  was  not  till  a  servant  of  the  Venetian  ambas- 
sador reached  Mantua,  on  the  16th  of  May,  that 
Isabella  was  known  to  be  safe  under  her  son's  pro- 
tection. A  few  days  later,  Ferrante  himself  wrote  to 
relieve  his  brother's  mind,  and  by  the  9th  of  June 
the  Marchesa  herself  reached  Ferrara.  After  a  brief 
interval  of  sorely-needed  repose,  Isabella  once  more 
resumed  her  journey,  and  sailed  up  the  Po,  in  the  ducal 
barge,  to  Governolo.  Here  Ercole  Gonzaga  came  to 
meet  her,  and  received  the  Cardinal's  hat  from  his 
mother's  own  hands.^     The  next  day  they  sailed  up 

*  G.  Daino,  Cronaca ;  D'Arco,  Notizie,  237. 


the  Mincio  to  Mantua,  where  the  Marquis  and  a 
brilliant  train  of  knights  and  ladies  were  awaiting  their 
arrival,  and  the  whole  city  poured  out  to  welcome 
the  beloved  Marchesa,  and  escort  her  with  shouts  of 
triumph  and  tears  of  joy  to  the  palace  gates.  Leonora 
was  at  Venice,  where  the  Signory  practically  detained 
her  as  a  hostage  for  the  Duke's  fidelity,  but  her  two 
little  girls  went  to  Mantua  to  receive  their  grand- 
mother. **  I  have  not  yet  taken  the  children  to  visit 
Madama,"  wrote  their  tutor  on  the  15th  of  June, 
"because  she  only  arrived  yesterday,  and  is  very 
much  occupied,  but  we  hope  to  see  her  soon."^ 

The  Venetian  ambassador,  Domenico  Venier, 
reached  Mantua  on  the  same  lovely  June  evening 
as  the  Marchesa,  and  remained  there  as  the  prisoner 
of  Alessandro  da  Novellara  until  the  end  of  October. 
His  wife  came  to  meet  him,  and  spoke  warmly  of 
Federico's  kindness,  and  of  the  pleasures  which  he 
was  enjoying  after  the  cruel  hardships  which  he  had 
endured.  None  the  less  the  envoy  took  the  first 
opportunity  of  escaping  from  Mantua  without  paying 
the  ransom  which  had  been  agreed  upon,  and  on  the 
evening  of  the  17th  of  October,  sent  the  Signory 
word  that  he  had  reached  Verona  safely.  The 
Marchesa,  justly  indignant  at  this  breach  of  faith, 
addressed  a  letter  of  remonstrance  to  the  Doge,  which 
was  read  to  the  Senate  and  pronounced  to  be  very 
wise  by  all  who  were  present.  But  we  are  not  told 
if  Count  Alessandro  ever  received  his  promised 
ransom,  and  the  Mantuan  ambassador  who  dehvered 
Isabella's  letter  was  careful  to  inform  the  prince  that 
the  Signor  Marchese  rejoiced  with  His  Serenity  on 
the  Venetian  envoy's  escape.^ 

^  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  &c.,  p.  279- 
2  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit.,  xlvi. 


Meanwhile,  Ferrante  Gonzaga,  who  had  with- 
drawn to  Velletri  on  the  17th  of  June  with  the 
Imperialist  horse,  wrote  to  congratulate  his  mother 
on  her  escape  from  the  horrors  of  the  ruined  city, 
and  safe  return  to  Mantua.  "  I  can  no  longer  delay 
to  kiss  your  hand,  and  rejoice  with  you  that  you 
were  so  fortunate  as  to  leave  that  most  miser- 
able and  unhappy  city  of  Rome,  which,  after  the 
utter  ruin  brought  upon  her  by  the  soldiers,  is 
now  scourged  by  God  with  famine  and  plague. — 
From  your  son  and  servant,  Ferrante  Gonzaga."  ^ 
Velletri,  June  23,  1527. 

The  landsknechte,  who  remained  in  Rome,  were 
dying  by  thousands,  and  the  plague  had  even  pene- 
trated into  the  precincts  of  Sant'  Angelo.  But  still 
the  German  soldiers  refused  to  leave  Rome  until  they 
had  received  their  arrears  of  pay,  and  anarchy  reigned 
supreme.  When  at  length  the  last  foreign  troops 
left  Rome,  and  the  Pope  returned  after  an  exile  of 
ten  months,  he  found  a  ruined  and  depopulated  city. 
It  was  reckoned  that  as  many  as  30,000  of  the  in- 
habitants had  perished  by  the  sword  of  the  invaders 
or  died  of  plague  and  famine,  while  another  20,000 
had  sought  refuge  in  flight.^  So  deeply  was  the 
memory  of  those  days  of  horror  engraved  in  the 
hearts  of  succeeding  generations,  that  to  this  day 
Roman  mothers  hush  their  children  to  sleep  with  the 
words,  "  Go  to  sleep,  httle  one  ;  Borbone  is  gone  I "  ^ 

From  all  parts  of  the  civihsed  world  a  wail  went 
up  to  heaven  over  this  awful  catastrophe.  Isabella's 
friends  sighed  over  the  terrible  ruin  which  had  over- 

^  Gregorovius,  Rom.,  p.  540. 

'  M.  Alberino. 

'  R.  Lanciani,  "  Destruction  of  Rome,"  p.  226. 

270        GRIEF   OF   THE   HUMANISTS 

whelmed  this  great  and  beautiful  city,  once  the  place 
of  all  dehghts.  Bembo  wept  in  the  lovely  gardens 
of  his  Paduan  villa,  when  he  heard  the  heart-rending 
details  told  by  the  poet  Molza,  who  had  escaped  with 
his  hfe,  as  it  were  by  miracle.  **  Come  here,  I  im- 
plore you,"  wrote  Pietro  to  his  old  friend  Tebaldeo, 
"  and  leave  the  miserable  corpse  of  our  once  beautiful 
Rome."  ^ 

The  poor  poet  had  lost  everything  in  the  sack,  and 
owed  his  life  to  Cardinal  Colonna,  on  whose  charity 
he  lived  until  a  timely  loan  from  Bembo  reached 
him.  Paolo  Giovio  lost  his  precious  manuscripts, 
and  Colocci  saw  his  priceless  collection  of  antiques 
destroyed  by  the  savage  soldiery,  and  was  himself 
exposed  to  their  brutal  insults.  "  Fortunate  indeed," 
said  Molza,  "  are  those  who  were  spared  the  sight  of 
these  awful  horrors,  and  did  not  have  to  witness 
the  funeral  of  the  city  of  Romulus."  Sadoleto,  in 
the  peaceful  haven  of  his  bishopric  at  Carpentras, 
heard  with  anguish  of  the  misery  which  his  friends  had 
suffered,  and  saw  in  these  terrible  events  the  long- 
delayed  judgment  of  God.  Yet  the  Roman  scholar 
could  not  repress  a  sigh  for  those  joyous  days  of  yore, 
and  in  a  touching  letter  to  his  old  friend  Colocci,  he 
recalls  those  pleasant  evenings  in  the  Quirinal  gardens 
when  Bembo  and  Castiglione,  Pheedra  and  Nava- 
gero,  and  the  brilliant  Marchesa  herself,  spent  happy 
hours  together  in  gay  or  serious,  in  witty  or  thought- 
ful discourse.  "  Alas  !  those  days  are  for  ever  gone, 
and  the  cruel  fate  of  Rome  has  darkened  all  our 
joy."^  As  Erasmus  wrote  to  Sadoleto:  "Rome  was 
not  alone  the  slirine  of  the  Christian  faith,  the  nurse  of 

^  Lettere,  iii.  34. 

2  Sadoleto,  Ep.,  p.  106. 


noble  souls  and  the  abode  of  the  Muses,  but  the 
mother  of  the  nations.  To  how  many  was  she  not 
dearer  and  sweeter,  more  precious  than  their  own 
native  land  I  ...  In  truth,  this  is  not  the  ruin  of  one 
city,  but  of  the  whole  world."  ^ 

There  was  another  of  Isabella's  friends  on  whom 
the  blow  fell  with  even  greater  severity.  This  was 
CastigHone,  who,  as  nuncio  at  the  court  of  Madrid, 
had  done  his  utmost  to  appease  the  Emperor's  v^rath 
and  save  the  unhappy  Pope.  His  efforts  were  doomed 
to  failure.  Charles  V.  himself  could  hardly  be  held  re- 
ponsible  for  the  sudden  turn  which  events  had  taken. 
But  the  bitter  reproaches  which  Clement  VII.  ad- 
dressed to  his  envoy  were  keenly  felt  by  the  Count. 
He  was  already  ill,  and  never  recovered  from  the 
shock.  Even  the  Emperor's  favour  could  not  console 
him,  and,  after  lingering  on  through  the  next  summer, 
he  died  at  Toledo  on  the  7th  of  February  1529. 

Charles  V.  heard  the  news  with  genuine  regret, 
and,  turning  to  his  courtiers,  said :  "We  have  lost  one 
of  the  greatest  cavaliers  in  the  world."  In  his  home 
at  Mantua,  Castiglione's  death  was  the  cause  of  bitter 
sorrow,  ahke  to  his  aged  mother,  who  alone  remained 
to  watch  over  her  orphan  grandchildren,  and  to  the 
friends  whom  he  had  loved  so  well.  The  coming  of 
his  footsteps  was  vainly  awaited  in  his  favourite 
loggia,  and  the  Marchesa's  reunions  lacked  the  pre- 
sence of  her  most  brilliant  guest.  Giuho  Romano 
was  employed  to  raise  a  noble  monument  to  his  old 
patron's  memory  in  the  sanctuary  of  S.  Maria  delle 
Grazie,  and  Isabella  lamented  in  him  the  most 
accomplished  of  her  courtiers  and  the  most  faithful 
of  her  friends. 

1  Erasmus,  Ep.,  p.  988. 



Misery  of  Italy — Pkgue  in  Mantua — Federico's  buildings — Isa- 
bella's Roman  antiquities  lost  on  the  voyage — Her  correspond- 
ence with  the  Roman  dealer,  Raphael  of  Urbino — Sebastiano 
del  Piombo — Cardinal  Ercole's  love  of  art  and  letters — Death 
of  Emilia  Pia — Veronica  Gambara  and  Correggio's  Magdalen 
— The  Allegories  painted  by  Correggio  for  Isabella's  Studio — 
Titian  visits  Mantua  and  paints  Isabella's  portrait — Copy  by 
Rubens  at  Vienna. 

Isabella  found  her  faithful  Mantuans  in  a  melan- 
choly condition  on  her  return  from  Rome.  During 
the  two  years  that  she  had  been  absent,  war  had 
raged  unceasingly  in  Lombardy.  The  unfortunate 
Francesco  Sforza,  ill  in  body  and  exposed  to  attacks 
on  all  sides,  vainly  tried  to  maintain  himself  against 
the  Imperialists,  and  the  Spanish  general,  Leyva, 
had  the  greatest  difficulty  in  feeding  his  army.  The 
desolation  of  the  country  and  the  misery  of  its  few 
remaining  inhabitants  made  a  deep  impression  on 
the  English  ambassadors  who  were  sent  by  Henry 
VIII.  to  the  Congress  of  Bologna  in  1529.  There 
were  no  labourers  at  work  in  the  fields,  no  dwellers 
in  the  villages,  and  in  the  once  flourishing  cities  of 
Lombardy,  whole  families  might  be  seen  begging 
their  bread.  "  It  is,  sir,"  wrote  Nicolas  Carew  to 
the  King,  "  the  most  pity  to  see  this  country,  as  we 
suppose,  that  ever  was  in  Christendom.  .  .  .  Betwixt 
VercelU    and    Pavia    the   whole   country   has   been 


^  ooaf^f^U-.  iyn..  (^  j 


wasted.  We  found  no  man  or  woman  labouring  in 
the  fields,  and  all  the  way  we  saw  only  three  women 
gathering  wild  grapes.  The  people  and  children  are 
dying  of  hunger."  ^ 

Although  Mantua  itself  had  been  spared  the 
horrors  of  war,  the  continual  passage  of  foreign  armies 
had  brought  famine  and  destitution  in  its  train,  and 
to  add  to  the  general  distress,  a  terrible  outbreak  of 
plague  spread  over  the  whole  of  North  Italy.  During 
the  year  1528,  one-third  of  the  population  of  Mantua 
died  of  this  epidemic,  and  Isabella,  in  her  anxiety  to 
reUeve  the  distress  of  her  subjects,  once  more  pledged 
her  finest  jewels,  including  the  famous  collar  of  a 
hundred  gems.  In  spite  of  these  troubles,  Federico 
Gonzaga  eagerly  carried  on  his  architectural  works, 
and  Giulio  Romano  and  a  whole  band  of  assistants 
were  employed  to  decorate  the  sumptuous  halls  of 
the  Palazzo  del  T^.  So  intent  was  the  young  Mar- 
quis on  his  plans,  that  he  made  a  great  favour  of 
allowing  the  artists  in  his  service  to  carry  out  any 
improvements  in  Isabella's  houses.  On  one  occasion 
he  wrote  from  his  favourite  villa  of  Marmirolo,  which 
was  also  being  decorated  on  a  lavish  scale,  to  Giulio 
Romano  in  these  terms  :  "  Messer  Giulio, — Hearing 
that  the  illustrious  Madonna,  our  honoured  mother, 
wishes  Maestro  Battista  to  make  those  new  rooms 
of  which  she  spoke,  we  beg  you  to  explain  to  Her 
Excellency,  that  although  this  will  be  veiy  incon- 
venient to  us  at  a  time  when  so  many  workmen 
in  our  pay  are  ill  and  unable  to  work,  we  are  willing 
that  M.  Battista  should  serve  her  for  this  one  week. 
But  I  beg  you  to  entreat  Her  Excellency,  in  our 

^  "  Letters  and  Papers,  Foreign  and  Domestic,  Henry  VIII.,"  iv. 

VOL.  11.  S 


name,  not  to  keep  him  more  than  a  week,  as  this 
would  cause  us  great  inconvenience  and  expense."  ^ 

Isabella,  it  is  clear,  had  returned  from  Rome  full 
of  plans  for  the  decoration  of  her  palaces,  and  the 
eighteenth-century  historian,  Bettinelli,  tells  us  that 
in  his  time,  a  gallery  with  elegantly  painted  ara- 
besques, leading  from  the  Studio  of  the  Grotta  to  the 
garden-court,  bore  the  date  of  1527.^  Unfortunately 
one  of  the  galleys  laden  with  the  precious  marbles, 
tapestries,  and  porcelain  which  the  Marchesa  had 
collected  with  so  much  trouble  and  expense  in  Rome, 
fell  into  the  hands  of  Saracen  pirates,  and  only  a 
few  of  these  treasures  ever  reached  Mantua.  Among 
these  priceless  works  of  art  were  two  of  the  Vatican 
tapestries,  executed  from  Raphael's  designs — the 
Conversion  of  Saul,  and  S.  Paul  in  the  Areopagus, 
— which  Ferrante  Gonzaga  rescued  from  Spanish 
soldiers  and  sent  to  Mantua  for  safety.^ 

Among  Isabella's  own  purchases  were  two  figures 
which  she  had  bought  in  Rome,  from  a  dealer  who 
bore  the  splendid  name  of  Raphael  of  Urbino,  for  43 
ducats,  as  was  duly  entered  in  her  book  of  payments, 
under  the  date  of  January  14,  1527.*  After  the 
marbles  were  brought  to  her  house,  the  Marchesa 
discovered  to  her  great  indignation  that  these 
statues  were  not  antiques,  and  promptly  sent 
them  back  to  the  dealer,  demanding  the  return 
of  her  money.  Then  came  the  siege  and  sack 
of  Rome,  and  in  the  general  confusion  that 
followed    no    more   was    heard    of  Messer    Raphael. 

1  D'Arco,  Arte,  &c.,  ii.  153. 

2  S.  Bettinelli^  Delle  lettere  e  d.  arti  Mantovani,  p.  87. 

3  Luzio,  Arch.  St.  Lomb.  xxxv.  89. 
*  Gaye,  Carteggio,  ii.  192,  &c. 


After  her  return  to  JNlaiitua,  the  Marchesa  wrote 
to  Francesco  Gonzaga,  who  had  gone  back  to 
Rome  with  the  Pope,  begging  him  to  inquire 
into  the  matter,  and  obtain  the  restoration  of 
her  ducats,  or,  if  these  are  not  forthcoming,  of 
the  statues,  since  to  lose  both  would  be  "an  unfair 
and  iniquitous  thing."  "  If  M.  Raphael,"  she  adds 
in  a  postscript,  "  persists  in  saying  that  these  figures 
are  antique,  you  can  give  him  the  opinions  of  M. 
Giacomo  Sansovino  the  sculptor,  of  Colombo  the 
antiquarian,  and  of  a  sculptor  called  Lorenzo,  all 
of  whom  pronounced  the  said  figures  to  be  modern. 
All  three  are  highly  skilled  in  the  art  of  sculpture, 
so  that  their  opinion  is  of  great  weight."  M. 
Raphael,  however,  still  declared  that  his  statues 
were  antiques,  and  that  one  was  lost,  but  begged 
the  Marchesa  to  accept  the  remaining  figure, 
together  with  two  majolica  vases  which  had  been 
ordered  by  Monsignore  Palmieri  before  the  siege,  but 
were  now  left  on  his  hands.  Isabella  repUed  that,  if  she 
could  not  have  her  ducats,  she  would  prefer  to  have 
a  certain  fine  medal  which  he  had  shown  her  in 
Rome.  But  this  medal,  the  dealer  said,  had  been 
lost,  with  many  others  of  his  most  valuable  objects, 
during  the  occupation  of  Rome  by  the  Imperialists, 
so  that  he  was  left  almost  penniless.  The  Marchesa, 
however,  would  not  be  so  easily  satisfied,  and  ad- 
dressed another  letter  to  her  ambassador  on  the 
14th  of  August. 

*'  It  is  all  very  well,"  she  wrote,  "  for  M.  Raphael 
to  plead  poverty,  and  make  himself  out  so  destitute, 
but  our  beUef  is  that  he  does  not  choose  to  satisfy 
us  in  any  form.  Neither  can  we  understand  the 
truth  of  his  excuse,  since  we  know  that,  when  the 


Colonnas  pillaged  the  Borgo,  he  told  us  that  he  had 
sent  this  antique  medal  with  all  his  most  precious 
things  out  of  Rome.  This  makes  us  feel  sure  that, 
if  he  were  so  prompt  in  saving  his  medal  on  that 
occasion,  he  must  have  been  still  more  expeditious 
before  the  invasion  of  the  Spaniards  and  the  sack 
of  Rome.  If  he  denies  this,  we  shall  not  believe 
him  so  readily,  but  shall  remain  convinced  that  he 
could  let  us  have  the  medal  if  he  chose.  So  we  beg 
you  to  ask  him  for  this  again,  and  assure  him  that 
we  would  rather  have  nothing  in  exchange  for  our 
statuettes  than  put  up  with  poor  and  vulgar  things." 
Again,  on  the  4th  of  September,  she  repeated 
her  conviction  that  M.  Raphael  had  the  medal,  and 
did  not  see  how  he  could  refuse  to  let  her  have  it 
if  he  had  any  shred  of  honesty  left  I  But  the  unfor- 
tunate dealer  seems  really  to  have  been  unable  to 
gratify  the  Marchesa's  wish,  and  after  a  protracted 
correspondence,  Isabella  wrote  curtly  to  Francesco 
Gonzaga  on  the  29th,  saying  that  she  would  be 
content  with  the  things  which  M.  Raphael  offered, 
and  desired  them  to  be  sent  to  Mantua  by  the 
next  courier.  The  ambassador  was  not  more  suc- 
cessful in  recovering  a  marble  bas-relief  which  the 
Marchesa  had  bought,  but  allowed  to  remain  in  a 
dealer's  shop  for  greater  safety,  and  which,  after  the 
sack,  had  passed  into  Cardinal  di  Cesi's  hands.  This 
prelate  courteously  but  firmly  declined  to  give  up 
his  possession,  and  after  a  protracted  correspondence, 
Isabella  told  her  ambassador  that  it  was  clear  Mon- 
signore  meant  to  keep  the  relief,  and  that  as  she  did 
not  wish  to  go  to  law  with  him,  he  had  better  say 
no  more.^ 

1  Gaye,  op.  cit.^  p.  192-5. 

SEBASTIANO   DEL   PIOMBO         277 

Fortunately  the  Marchesa  was  able  to  recover 
another  of  her  Roman  purchases,  a  collection  of  silver 
medals  which  she  had  left  in  the  charge  of  her  son 
Ferrante.  When  this  prince  retired  to  Velletri, 
he  gave  his  mother's  medals  to  Messer  Pandolfo 
Pico  della  Mirandola,  the  agent  who  had  told  her  of 
Raphael's  death.  On  Ferrante's  return  to  Rome, 
however,  the  medals  were  missing,  and  it  was  not  till 
February  1529  that  the  Marchesa  sent  the  painter 
Sebastiano  del  Piombo,  to  find  out  what  Pandolfo 
had  done  with  them.  Sebastiano,  who  was  then  in 
Venice,  informed  her  that  he  was  soon  leaving  for 
Rome,  and  would  execute  her  commission  on  his 
arrival  without  fail.  On  the  1st  of  March,  Isabella 
repUed : — 

*^  Magistro  Sebastiano  Luciano, — We  have  re- 
ceived your  reply  to  our  letter  about  the  medals, 
and  are  very  glad  to  hear  that  you  are  going  to 
Rome  in  a  few  days,  because  by  this  means  we  hope 
to  receive  them  shortly.  And  we  hope  you  will  be 
so  good  as  to  give  them  to  our  ambassador  at  the 
Vatican,  who  has  orders  to  send  them  to  us  by  the 
best  and  safest  way,  and  for  this  we  shall  be  very 
grateful. — Isabella,  March.  Mant."^ 

The  Venetian  master  was  as  good  as  his  word, 
and  the  medals  were  safely  forwarded  to  Mantua, 
and  presented  by  the  Marchesa  to  her  son  Federico, 
who  thanked  her  exceedingly  for  the  gift,  which  he 
valued  highly.  Sebastiano  was  already  well  known 
both  to  the  Marquis  and  his  mother,  who  had  a 
high  opinion  of  his  merit  as  a  portrait  painter. 
In  May  1524,  Federico  wrote  to  one  of  his  corre- 
spondents in  Rome  begging  for  a  small  picture  from 

^  Gaye,  op,  cit.,  p,  178. 

278        HIS   PORTTIAIT    OF   ERCOLE 

the  hand  of  Sebastianello  Veneziano,  "  not  figures  of 
Madonnas  or  Saints,  but  some  fine  and  beautiful 
invention."  The  Marquis,  it  seems,  was  anxious  to 
emulate  the  collection  of  paintings  by  different 
masters,  which  adorned  his  mother's  Studio  of  the 
Grotta.^  Four  years  later,  when  the  newly-made 
Cardinal  Ercole  went  to  pay  his  respects  to  the 
exiled  Pope,  he  fell  in  with  the  Venetian  master, 
who  was  an  intimate  friend  of  the  humanist  Molza, 
and  wrote  to  his  mother  from  Orvieto  on  the  25th 
of  March  1528  :— 

"  A  few  days  ago,  Maestro  Sebastiano,  a  painter 
whose  art  is  as  excellent  as  his  reputation  is  great, 
came  to  pay  me  his  respects.  I  begged  him  to  take 
my  likeness,  because  the  other  day,  when  I  was  in 
Mantua,  I  remember  hearing  Your  Excellency  say 
that  he  painted  very  life-like  portraits,  and  he  has 
promised  to  do  this  as  soon  as  he  can  procure 
the  requisite  colours.  As  soon  as  the  picture  is 
painted  I  will  send  it  to  Your  Excellency." 

Isabella  replied  without  delay,  on  the  6th  of 
April : — 

"  I  told  you,  and  repeat  now,  that  it  is  perfectly 
true  this  3Iaestro  has  the  most  admirable  skill  in 
portraiture,  and  I  am  greatly  delighted  to  hear  of 
your  intention,  all  the  more  since  you  are  going 
to  send  me  this  portrait.  I  assure  you  that  nothing 
in  the  world  would  please  me  better."  ^ 

Now  that  Federico  had  transferred  so  much  of 
his  affections  to  his  mistress,  Isabella  Boschetti,  and 
that  Ferrante  was  constantly  engaged  in  military 
service,  Ercole  occupied  an  increasingly  large  place 

^  Gaye,  op.  ciL,  ii.  10. 

2  Luzio  in  Emporium,  1900,  p.  431. 

DEATH    OF   EMIIJA    PTA  279 

in  his  mother's  heart.  The  young  Cardinal  was  an 
attentive  son,  and  his  frequent  letters  to  Isabella 
abound  in  allusions  to  artistic  and  literary  matters. 
While  he  was  still  at  Bologna  he  became  a  collector. 
In  January  1523,  hearing  that  Alberto  Pio  da 
Carpi  had  been  declared  a  rebel  and  deprived  of  his 
State  by  Prospero  Colonna,  he  begged  that  general 
to  allow  him  to  buy  the  exiled  prince's  hbrary,  which 
was  said  to  contain  the  finest  collection  of  Greek  and 
Latin  authors  in  all  Italy.  Colonna  readily  agreed 
to  grant  his  request,  but  before  he  obtained  possession 
of  the  famous  library,  Alberto's  brother,  Leonello 
Pio,  recovered  Carpi  by  a  fortunate  stroke,  much  to 
Ercole's  disappointment.  After  the  sack  of  Rome, 
the  poet  Molza  found  himself  compelled  to  sell  his 
own  library,  and  wrote  to  his  old  friend  Ercole  in 
April  1529,  imploring  him  to  buy  it,  lest  so  noble  a 
collection  should  leave  Italy.  "  If  Your  Excellency 
does  not  buy  the  books,"  he  adds,  "  I  fear  they  are 
sure  to  go  to  England,  which  God  forbid  should 
happen  in  the  Ufetime  of  the  Cardinal  of  Mantua  1"  ^ 

In  May  1528,  Isabella  received  the  sad  news  of 
her  old  friend  Emilia  Pia's  death  at  Urbino.  Elisa- 
betta  Gonzaga's  devoted  companion  did  not  long 
survive  the  sister-in-law  whom  she  had  loved  so  well, 
and  died  very  suddenly  on  the  21st  of  May,  without 
being  able  to  make  her  will  or  receive  the  last  Sacra- 
ments. This  excellent  lady,  whose  virtues  were  known 
to  all,  was  singularly  free  from  the  prejudices  and 
superstitions  of  her  age,  and  often  discussed  rehgious 
questions  with  a  frankness  which  excited  suspicion  in 
certain  quarters.  It  was  now  reported  at  Orvieto, 
that  Madonna  Emilia  had  died  repeating  passages 
*  Luzio  in  Giom.  St.,  viii.  385. 


from  Castiglione's  "  Cortigiano "  to  Lodovico  da 
Canossa,  instead  of  devoutly  commending  her  soul 
to  God.  The  Pope  asked  the  Urbino  ambassador 
if  this  were  true,  but  he  denied  the  report  in- 
dignantly, and  wrote  to  Leonora  Gonzaga,  saying : 
"  What  tales  people  tell  I  I  for  one  do  not  believe 
the  story.  Still,  even  this  may  be  possible.  None  the 
less,  I  pray  that  our  Lord  God  may  receive  her  soul 
in  peace." 

Three  months  afterwards,  Emilia  Pia's  niece, 
the  accomplished  Veronica  Gambara,  wrote  an 
interesting  letter  to  the  Marchesa,  telling  her  of  a 
picture  which  the  young  painter  of  Correggio,  An- 
tonio AUegri,  had  just  finished.  A  daughter  of 
Gianfrancesco  Gambara  of  Brescia,  and  of  Alda  Pia, 
Veronica  belonged  to  a  group  of  younger  women, 
remarkable  for  beauty  and  culture,  who  looked  up 
to  the  Marchesa  with  great  respect,  and  felt  highly 
honoured  by  her  friendship.  In  1503,  when  she  was 
barely  eighteen,  we  find  Veronica  writing  to  thank 
Isabella  for  the  great  goodness  which  she  had  shown 
her,  and  after  her  marriage  to  Giberto  I.,  lord  of 
Correggio,  in  1508,^  stood  sponsor  to  her  eldest  son. 
Giberto  died  in  1518,  but  Veronica,  who  was  his 
second  wife,  remained  faithful  to  his  memory,  and 
devoted  herself  to  literature  and  the  education  of 
his  children.  Her  own  poems  were  highly  esteemed 
by  contemporary  scholars,  especially  by  Pietro 
Bembo,  who  corresponded  with  this  princess  from  the 
days  of  her  girlhood.  Veronica  herself  often  visited 
Mantua,  and  was  on  friendly  terms  with  Castiglione, 
Molza,  and  many  other  members  of  Isabella's  circle. 
She   was    deeply    interested    in    the    gifted  painter 

1  V.  Rossi,  Musica  in  Urbino,  p.  6. 


Allegri,  who  was  a  native  of  Correggio.  A  pupil  of 
the  Ferrara  artist,  Lorenzo  Costa,  Allegri  probably  ac- 
companied his  master  to  Mantua  in  1508,  and  one  of 
his  early  works,  the  charming  Madonna  at  Hampton 
Court,  was  in  the  Gonzaga  collection.  He  afterwards 
worked  for  Alessandro  Gonzaga  da  Novellara,  who 
married  Giberto  da  Correggio's  daughter,  Costanza. 
In  the  last  years  of  his  life,  he  was  often  employed 
by  the  IMarquis  Federico,  and  the  beautiful  Antiope 
of  the  Louvre,  and  the  Education  of  Cupid,  which 
both  came  to  England  in  the  Mantuan  collection, 
were  probably  painted  before  this  date.  So  that 
Correggio  was  already  well  known  to  Isabella  when 
Veronica  Gambara  wrote  the  following  letter : — 

"  I  should  fail  in  my  duty  to  Your  Excellency  if  I 
did  not  tell  you  of  the  masterpiece  of  painting  which 
our  Antonio  Allegri  has  just  completed,  knowing,  as 
I  do,  how  much  pleasure  it  would  give  Your  High- 
ness, who  is  so  excellent  a  judge  of  these  things.  The 
picture  represents  the  Magdalen  in  the  desert  in  a 
dark  cavern,  whither  she  has  fled  in  her  penitence. 
She  kneels  on  the  right,  lifting  clasped  hands  to  heaven 
and  imploring  pardon  for  her  sins.  Her  beautiful 
attitude,  and  the  expression  of  deep  but  noble  sorrow 
on  her  most  lovely  face,  are  so  striking  that  every 
one  who  has  seen  the  picture  is  filled  with  wonder. 
In  this  work  the  painter  has  expressed  all  that  is  most 
sublime  in  the  art  of  which  he  is  so  great  a  master."  ^ 

Isabella,  we  know,  was  very  short  of  money  at  this 
moment,  and  could  hardly  afford  to  buy  the  picture, 
much  as  she  may  have  wished  to  possess  it.  But  it 
is  worthy  of  notice  that  in  a  letter  written  from 
Parma  about  the  same  time,  by  Carlo  Malaspina,  he 

^  W.  Braghirolli,  Giom.  di  Enid.  Art.,  i.  325. 


remarks  that  the  Marchesa  di  Novellara  has  heard 
from  Ortensio  Landi  that  Correggio  has  lately  painted 
a  beautiful  Magdalen  for  the  Magnificent  S ignore  di 

Whether  the  Marchesa  ever  owned  a  Magdalen 
by  Correggio  or  not,  we  know  that  two  admirable 
tempera  paintings  from  his  hand  adorned  her 
Grotta.  In  the  inventory  of  1642,  these  works 
are  described  as :  "  Two  pictures  by  the  entrance 
door,  from  the  hand  of  the  late  Antonio  da  Correggio, 
one  of  which  represents  the  story  of  Apollo  and 
Marsyas,  the  other  the  three  virtues,  Justice,  Tem- 
perance and  Fortitude,  teaching  a  child  to  measure 
time,  in  order  that  he  may  win  the  palm  and  be 
crowned  with  laurel."  And  in  Vanderdoort's  ^  inven- 
tory of  Charles  the  First's  collection  the  same  paintings 
are  described  as :  "One  large  and  famous  picture 
painted  upon  cloth  in  water-colours,  kept  shut  up  in 
a  wooden  case,  where  they  are  tormenting  and  flaying 
Marsyas.  The  second,  another  the  like  piece  in  water- 
colours  of  Anthony  Correggio,  being  an  unknown 
story  containing  four  entire  figures  in  a  land  skip,  and 
four  angels  in  the  clouds."  The  Commonwealth  in- 
ventory is  still  vaguer  in  its  interpretation,  and 
merely  enters  Correggio's  temperas  as  A  Satire 
Flead  (flayed)  and  Another  of  the  Same,  but  values 
them  at  the  high  price  of  £1000,  for  which  they 
were  actually  bought  by  the  banker  Jabach. 

The  true  title  of  these  paintings  was  the  Triumph 
of  the  Vices  and  of  the  Virtues.  In  the  one,  a 
naked  man  is  seen  bound  to  a  tree.  Evil  Habit, 
a  woman  wearing  vipers  in  her  hair,  binds  him  with 

^  Braghirolli,  op.  ciL,  33% 
«  P.  76. 


cords,  and  Pleasure  plays  a  flute  in  his  ear,  seeking 
to  drown  the  voice  of  Conscience,  a  figure  clad  in 
violet,  who  darts  scorpions  at  the  helpless  victim, 
while  a  mischievous  satyr  dangles  a  bunch  of  grapes 
before  his  eyes.  In  the  other,  three  tall  and  stately 
women  are  grouped  round  a  fair  boy  in  armour. 
Justice,  clad  in  a  coat  of  mail,  leans  on  her  lance. 
Fortitude  reclines  on  a  lion's  skin,  with  sword  and 
bridle  in  her  hand,  and  Wisdom  measures  the  globe 
with  one  hand,  while  with  the  other  she  points  to 
the  wide  valley  and  distant  hills,  telHng  the  youthful 
scholar  that  the  future  as  well  as  the  past  are  all 
hers  to  give.  Three  genii,  playing  musical  instru- 
ments, hover  in  the  golden  light  above  the  trees, 
and  one  floats  downwards  with  a  wreath  to  crown 
the  child  trained  in  the  paths  of  virtue. 

These  subjects  agree  exactly  in  style  and  character 
with  the  compositions  by  Mantegna,  Perugino,  and 
Costa,  which  already  adorned  Isabella's  Studio.  They 
were,  no  doubt,  invented  by  the  Marchesa  herself, 
with  the  help  of  some  favourite  humanist,  and  painted 
in  tempera  by  the  young  master  of  Correggio  to 
match  AndresLsfantasie.  If  their  allegorical  nature 
was  little  suited  to  the  painter's  genius,  he  has  shown 
great  skill  in  overcoming  the  difficulties  of  the  theme, 
and  has  given  us  forms  of  real  grace  and  beauty,  set 
in  a  landscape  of  exquisite  charm. 

Soon  after  Isabella's  return  from  Rome,  two  pic- 
tures by  a  still  greater  master  reached  Mantua.  These 
were  the  portraits  of  Pietro  Aretino,  and  of  the  Vene- 
tian patrician  Adorno,  an  old  friend  of  the  Gonzagas, 
who  had  managed  to  ingratiate  himself  with  the 
Federico  of  late  years.  They  were  sent  to  the  Mar- 
quis at  the  Aretine's  suggestion,  with  a  letter  from 


Titian,  begging  him  to  accept  these  pictures  of  his 
two  friends,  which  he  thinks  may  be  agreeable  to 
His  Excellency,  whose  love  of  painting  is  well  known, 
and  has  been  proved  by  his  generous  patronage  of 
Messer  Giuho  Romano.  Both  Federico  and  his 
mother  were  delighted  with  these  portraits,  now 
alas  I  lost  to  the  world,  and  endeavoured  by  eveiy 
means  in  their  power  to  bring  Titian  to  Mantua. 
The  painter,  however,  was  not  able  to  accept  their 
pressing  invitations  until  March  1529,  when  Alfonso 
d'Este  sent  him  to  Mantua  with  a  letter,  cordially 
recommending  this  favourite  master  to  his  nephew, 
but  begging  him  not  to  keep  him  too  long.  It  was, 
there  can  be  no  doubt,  during  the  month  which  he 
spent  at  the  court  of  the  Gonzagas,  at  this  time, 
that  Titian  painted  his  first  portrait  of  Isabella. 
Unfortunately  this  precious  picture,  the  only  portrait 
of  the  Marchesa  which  Titian  painted  from  life,  went 
to  England,  where  it  was  described  as  a  "Duchess 
of  Mantua,  in  a  red  gowne,"  and  valued  at  £50  at 
the  time  of  the  King's  sale,  after  which  it  was  never 
heard  of  again.  Before  this,  however,  it  was  copied 
by  Rubens  when  he  visited  Mantua  early  in  the  seven- 
teenth century,  and  the  Flemish  master's  copy  now 
hangs  in  the  Imperial  Gallery  at  Vienna.^  Rubens  has 
coarsened  the  features  and  vulgarised  the  forms  of 
Titian's  model,  but,  in  the  absence  of  the  lost  original, 
his  work  is  of  great  interest,  and  gives  us  some  idea 
of  Isabella's  appearance  in  ripe  middle  age.  The  Mar- 
chesa wears  a  handsome  robe  of  crimson  velvet  with 
a  gold  girdle,  a  long  necklace  round  her  bare  throat, 
and  an  open  chemisette  of  frilled  muslin,  studded 
with  gems.     Her  dark  locks  have  not  yet  lost  the 

1  No.  845. 

OF    ISABELLA  285 

golden-brown  tint  of  earlier  years,  but  are  partly 
hidden  by  a  turban-shaped  cap  of  puckered  silk, 
richly  adorned  with  jewels.  This  style  of  coiffure,  as 
we  know,  had  been  adopted  by  Isabella  more  than 
twenty  years  before.  In  1509,  her  cousin.  Countess 
Eleonora  Rusca,  the  daughter  of  Niccolo  da  Correggio, 
wrote  from  her  husband's  castle  of  Locarno  on  Lago 
Maggiore,  asking  the  Marchesa's  leave  to  borrow  this 
invention  of  hers,  which  had  been  already  adopted  by 
several  Milanese  ladies,  and  wear  a  similar  head-dress, 
as  she  had  lost  her  hair  in  a  recent  illness.^  Isa- 
bella's natural  tendency  to  embonpoint  had  evidently 
increased  with  years,  and  when  Titian  painted  her  at 
the  age  of  fifty-five,  she  was  decidedly  matronly  in 
appearance.  But  her  handsome  features  are  still  the 
same  as  in  Leonardo's  drawing  and  Cristoforo's  medal, 
and  bear  a  remarkable  hkeness  to  those  of  her 
daughter  Leonora.  Both  face  and  form  are  full  of 
character,  and  the  whole  has  an  air  of  dignified  repose 
not  unbecoming  the  Marchesa's  age  and  rank.  We 
see  before  us  a  noble  woman  of  refined  taste  and 
clear  intellect,  already  past  the  noontide  of  life,  who 
has  known  the  best  and  the  worst  that  life  has  to 
give,  and  who,  serene  and  untroubled,  neither  vexed 
by  dark  presentiments  nor  deluded  by  false  hopes,  can 
await  the  coming  morrow  in  the  spirit  of  her  own 
motto — Nee  spe  nee  metu^ 

^  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1901,  p.  171. 

^  Since  these  lines  were  in  print,  M.  Leopold  Goldschmidt  has 
acquired  a  superb  Titian  from  a  private  English  collection,  in 
which  the  best  critics  recognise  the  original  portrait  of  Isabella 
d'Este.  The  features  have  all  the  delicacy  that  is  wanting  in  Rubens's 
copy,  the  expression  is  more  refined  and  intellectual,  and  the  whole 
has  that  indefinable  air  of  distinction  and  nobility  which  stamps  the 
great  Venetian's  art.     See  Gazette  d.  Beatux  Arts,  1903,  p.  106. 



Marriage  of  Ercole  d'Este  to  Renee  de  France — Isabella  goes  to 
Modena  to  receive  the  bride — Fetes  at  Ferrara — Character 
of  Renee — Isabella's  regard  for  her  niece — Renee's  sympathy 
with  French  and  Italian  reformers  —  Isabella's  toleration — 
Messibugo's  Book  of  Ercole's  festival — Treaties  of  Barcelona 
and  Cambray — Charles  V.  lands  at  Genoa — Is  entertained  by 
the  Duke  of  Ferrara  on  his  way  to  Bologna — Ferrante  Gonzaga 
marches  against  Florence — Isabella  visits  Solarolo — Arrives  at 
Bologna  for  the  Congress —  State  entry  of  Charles  V. 

In  the  autumn  of  1528,  Isabella  went  to  Ferrara 
and  was  present  at  the  festivities  in  honour  of  her 
nephew  Ercole's  marriage  to  Renee,  daughter  of 
Louis  XII.,  King  of  France,  and  sister  of  the 
reigning  Queen  Claude.  The  successful  campaign 
of  the  French  armies  under  Lautrec  in  Naples  had 
encouraged  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  to  renew  his  old 
alliance  with  Francis  I.,^  and  on  the  28th  of  June  the 
wedding  of  his  son  Ercole  with  this  monarch's  sister- 
in-law,  the  Princess  Renee,  was  solemnised  with 
great  splendour  in  the  Samte  Chapelle.  After  a 
succession  of  hunting-parties  and  balls  at  Fontaine- 
bleau  and  St.  Germain,  the  bridal  pair  set  out  for 
Italy  on  the  20th  of  September,  as  Bartolom- 
meo  Prospero  wrote  from  Montargis  to  inform 
the  Marchesa.  "  They  will  travel,"  he  writes,  "  by 
slow  stages  through  Lyons,  Turin,  Parma,  Reggio, 
and  Modena,  and  wiU  hardly  reach  Ferrara  before 

^  Guicciardiui,  Sloria  d' Italia,  ix.  314. 



the  middle  of  November.  Here,"  he  adds,  "there 
is  no  other  news,  saving  a  report  that  the  Empress 
is  ill  of  an  infectious  disease,  and  that  the  Chancellor 
of  Spain  is  dying.  Cardinal  Campeggio  has  arrived 
at  court  on  his  way  to  England,  and  holds  a  com- 
mission from  the  Pope,  it  is  said,  to  make  peace 
between  the  Powers."  Meanwhile,  the  Duke  of 
Ferrara,  in  his  anxiety  to  do  honour  to  this  princess 
of  France,  begged  Isabella  to  assist  in  her  reception, 
since  his  only  daughter  Leonora  was  still  a  child. 
Thirty-seven  years  had  passed  since  Isabella,  then 
herself  a  youthful  bride,  had  brought  her  young 
sister-in-law,  Anna  Sforza,  to  Ferrara ;  and  twenty- 
five  years  since,  in  the  full  pride  of  her  beauty,  she 
had  assisted  at  Lucrezia  Borgia's  wedding.  Now 
she  once  more  came  back  to  her  old  home  to  wel- 
come the  heir  of  Ferrara's  bride,  for  the  third  time  in 
her  long  and  eventful  life.  At  her  brother's  request, 
she  came  to  Modena  early  in  November,  and  re- 
ceived the  bride  when  she  made  her  triumphal  entry 
amid  such  firing  of  guns,  blowing  of  trumpets,  and 
ringing  of  bells,  that  it  seemed,  says  the  chronicler, 
as  if  the  sky  and  air  would  crumble  to  pieces.^ 
After  a  fortnight  spent  in  fetes  and  rejoicings,  Ercole 
and  his  bride  went  on  to  Belvedere,  the  superb 
new  palace — celebrated  by  Ariosto  in  his  Orlando— 
which  Alfonso  had  built  on  an  island  in  the  Po. 
A  description  of  this  wonderful  summer  palace,  with 
its  halls  and  chapel  decorated  by  Dossi,  its  stately 
terraces  and  stairs  leading  down  to  the  river,  and 
delicious  gardens  planted  with  orange  groves  and 
box  hedges,  and  adorned  with  marble  loggias  and 
fountains,  had  been  lately  written  by  the  Ferrarese 

^  Fontana,  Renaia  di  Francia,  i.  64,  &a 

288  FfiTES   AT   FERRARA 

poet,  Bordoni,  and  dedicated  to  the  Marchesa  Isa- 
bella.^    After  spending  the  night  in  this  enchanted 
spot,  the  royal  bride  sailed  down  the  Po  to  Ferrara 
in   the  ducal   bucentaur,   and   was   received   at   the 
Porta  S.  Paola  by  Ercole's  brother  Ippolito,  Arch- 
bishop of  Milan,  the  ambassadors  of  France,  Venice, 
and    Mantua,    and    all   the    clergy    and    doctors    of 
Ferrara,  who  escorted  her  through  the  Strada  Grande 
to  the  Duomo.      The  streets  were  hung  with  red, 
green,  and  white   draperies ;    and  a  hundred  pages 
in  black  satin   livery,  with   rose-coloured  caps  and 
stockings,    preceded    by    the    Spanish    court  jester, 
Diego,  riding  on  a  dromedary,  led  the  way.      The 
bride   followed,  borne   in  a  crimson   litter  under  a 
golden   baldacchino,  and   attended   by   Madame  de 
Soubise  on   horseback,  and   fourteen   French  ladies 
in  a  chariot.     The  plague  had  lately  ravaged  Ferrara, 
and  the  chronicler's  description  of  the  misery  of  its 
inhabitants  forms  a  melancholy  contrast  to  the  splen- 
dour of  the  bridal  procession.      "  The  streets  were 
deserted  and  the    shops    closed.      Every  day  dead 
corpses  were  found  at  the   doors  of  the   churches, 
and  people  might   be   heard   in  the  streets  crying, 
'  I    die   of    hunger,'   with   no   one   reUeving   them." 
But  a  decree  had  been  issued  commanding  all  good 
subjects  to  put  off  their  mourning  and  appear  in  gay 
attire  to  welcome  their  young  Duchess,  and  the  loyal 
Ferrarese,   who    loved   a   pageant    dearly,   thronged 
the  streets    and   Piazza  of  the   Duomo,  where  the 
bride  alighted,  and  received  the  benediction  of  the 
Archbishop   and   the   keys   of  the    city,   which,  by 
the  Duke's  orders,  were  presented  to  his  daughter- 
in-law  in  a  silver  bowl. 

^  Gruyer,  op.  cit.,  ii.  137. 


The  Marchesa  Isabella  was  awaiting  the  bride  at 
the  foot  of  the  grand  marble  staircase  of  the  Este 
palace,  and  led  her  by  the  hand  into  the  Sala 
Grande,  which  was  hung  with  priceless  gold  and 
silken  tapestries.  Here  the  ambassadors  presented 
her  with  presents  of  brocades  and  velvet  and  dam- 
ask, and  the  chief  citizens  brought  oxen  and  calves, 
cheeses,  and  capons  for  her  acceptance.  Ren^e 
wore  her  wedding  robe  of  gold  brocade,  with  a 
necklace  of  enormous  pearls  and  a  gold  crown  on 
her  head,  which,  in  the  opinion  of  Luigi  Gonzaga, 
the  Mantuan  ambassador,  to  whom  we  owe  these 
details,  was  out  of  place,  since  Ercole's  bride  was, 
after  all,  not  a  queen,  but  only  the  daughter  of  a 
king !  Her  appearance  also  gave  rise  to  some  debate 
among  the  courtiers.  She  was  short  and  awkward, 
and  her  figure  was  slightly  deformed,  which  made 
the  ladies  of  Ferrara,  who  remembered  the  beauty 
of  Anna  Sforza  and  the  sweet  face  and  golden  hair 
of  Lucrezia  Borgia,  declare  that  the  new  Duchess 
was  very  unlike  these  lamented  ladies,  being  small, 
ugly,  and  hunchbacked.  Her  health  was  delicate, 
and  she  was  unable  to  speak  Italian,  or  to  understand 
what  was  said  without  the  help  of  an  interpreter. 
She  also  showed  a  marked  preference  for  French 
attendants  and  French  fashions,  and  Isabella's  old 
friend,  Bernardo  Tasso,  was  the  only  Italian  whom 
she  took  into  her  service,  and  employed  as  secretary. 
Altogether,  the  first  impression  formed  of  the  new 
Duchess  on  her  arrival  at  Ferrara  can  hardly  be  said 
to  have  been  a  favourable  one.  But  closer  acquaint- 
ance went  far  to  remove  these  prejudices.  Her 
manners  were  gracious  and  winning,  her  conversa- 
tion full  of  charm  and  wit;  and  although  she  was 

VOL.  II.  T 


too  French  in  her  tastes  to  be  popular  in  Ferrara, 
she  soon  won  the  affection  of  her  father-in-law. 
Her  genuine  love  of  learning  attracted  the  foremost 
scholars  to  the  ducal  court.  She  herself  presided 
over  an  Academy  which  held  its  sittings  in  her  rooms, 
and  became  the  patron  of  all  the  charitable  institu- 
tions in  the  city.  Rende  was  deeply  religious  by 
nature,  and  had  shown  her  interest  in  the  doctrines  of 
the  reformers  before  she  left  France.  Clement  Marot 
wrote  a  nuptial  hymn  in  her  honour,  and  spoke  in 
his  writings  of  "  de  noble  coeur  de  Renee  de  France  "  / 
and  the  Geneva  Protestant,  Calvin,  was  received  by 
the  Duchess  at  Ferrara  in  1536.  Vittoria  Colonna 
soon  became  one  of  her  greatest  friends,  and  brought 
her  friend,  the  Dominican  friar,  Bernardino  Ochino, 
to  preach  in  the  Duomo  of  Ferrara. 

Isabella,  herself  never  took  any  great  interest 
in  the  new  doctrines  that  were  held  by  so  many 
of  her  friends  in  Rome  and  Venice.  No  one  was 
further  removed  from  bigotry,  or  more  averse  to 
religious  persecution.  She  protected  the  Jews  in 
Mantua  as  far  as  possible,  issued  edicts  relieving 
them  from  disabilities  whenever  she  held  the  reins 
of  government,  and  was  always  in  favour  of  a  large 
and  kindly  toleration.  In  her  eyes  Pomponazzi's 
merits  as  a  teacher  outweighed  any  scruples  as 
to  the  orthodoxy  of  his  beliefs,  and  she  trusted 
her  son  to  him  without  fear.  Her  active  mind, 
centred  as  it  was  on  the  present,  never  seriously 
pursued  either  metaphysical  or  theological  inquiries. 
She  accepted  the  Church's  teaching  as  she  had  re- 
ceived it  from  her  mother's  lips,  and  did  not  trouble 
herself  with  the  inconsistency  or  the  crimes  of  its 
rulers.     But  although  Isabella  had  little   sympathy 


with  Renee's  views  on  these  matters,  she  was  at- 
tracted by  her  superior  intelligence  and  literary 
tastes,  and  in  the  difficulties  which  the  young  French 
princess  had  to  encounter  from  the  prejudices  of  the 
Italian  courtiers,  she  proved  her  wisest  and  most  loyal 

During  the  week  following  the  bride's  state 
entry,  a  series  of  Ariosto's  comedies  was  performed 
in  the  ducal  theatre,  and  on  one  occasion  Alfonso's 
youngest  son,  Francesco,  a  boy  of  twelve,  himself 
recited  the  prologue.  After  this,  Isabella  returned  to 
spend  Christmas  at  JNIantua  with  her  sons,  but  came 
back  to  Ferrara  early  in  January  to  assist  at  the 
Twelfth  Night  and  Carnival  festivities,  which  were  of 
unusual  splendour.  On  the  13th,  her  secretary,  Trida- 
pale,  wrote  the  following  letter  to  the  Marquis : — 
"  Last  Sunday  the  quintain  races  took  place,  but  there 
was  little  spirit  about  them.  Few  young  men  ran, 
and  the  games  began  late  and  ended  early.  Madama 
la  Duchessa,  with  her  ladies  and  gentlemen  and  our 
own,  looked  on  from  the  windows  and  balconies  of 
these  rooms,  but  3Iadama  mia  lUustrissima  pre- 
ferred to  remain  by  the  fire  talking  to  the  gentle- 
men who  came  to  visit  Her  Excellency.  To-night 
there  was  dancing  both  before  and  after  supper  till 
eleven  o'clock ;  but  the  small  size  of  the  room  and 
the  immense  number  of  people  assembled  made  the 
Jest  a  more  tiresome  than  enjoyable,  and  there  was 
great  confusion  among  the  dancers.  The  Duke  had 
ordered  the  '  Mensechmi '  to  be  given  in  the  French 
tongue  on  Sunday ;  but,  for  what  cause  I  know  not, 
this  has  been  put  off  till  next  week." '  But  the  most 
sumptuous  of  all  the  fetes  on  this  occasion  was  the 

^  D'Ancona,  Teatro,  ii.  430, 

292      BANQUET    TN   THE   CASTELLO 

banquet  given  by  the  young  Duke  Ercole  in  the 
great  hall  of  the  Castello  on  the  24th  of  January,^ 
an  entertainment  so  memorable  even  in  the  annals 
of  this  gay  court  that  it  was  made  the  subject  of  a 
volume  published  twenty  years  later  by  the  Duke's 
seneschal,  Messibugo,  and  still  preserved  in  the 
Bibliotheque  Nationale.  More  than  a  hundred  guests 
met  that  evening  in  the  magnificent  halls  of  the 
Castello,  lined  with  marble  and  alabaster  of  glittering 
whiteness  and  painted  by  the  hand  of  Titian  and 
Dossi.  The  brilliantly-lighted  table,  fifty-five  braccie 
long,  was  adorned  with  twenty-five  figures  of  the 
gods  of  Olympus  in  gilt  and  coloured  sugar,  designed 
by  the  best  artists  in  Ferrara,  under  the  direction  of 
Messibugo,  who  on  this  occasion  surpassed  himself  in 
skill  and  ingenuity.  Chief  among  them  was  a  group 
of  Hercules  strangling  the  lion,  in  honour  of  the 
bridegroom,  Ercole  d'Este.  Half-way  through  the 
banquet  a  second  series  of  similar  figures  was  placed 
on  the  table,  with  a  group  of  Hercules  grappling 
with  the  hydra  as  centre-piece.  This  was  succeeded 
by  a  third  array,  in  which  Hercules  taming  the 
Minotaur  was  the  principal  object.  Each  course 
was  heralded  by  a  troop  of  musicians,  playing  the 
flute,  viol,  cornet,  lyre,  and  harp,  and  singing 
madrigals  and  rondeaux,  under  the  direction  of 
Alfonso  di  Viola,  the  conductor  of  the  orchestra  of 
the  Duomo,  while  sweet  organ  melodies  were  heard 
in  the  distance.  At  the  conclusion  of  the  banquet 
attar  of  roses  and  other  choice  perfumes  were  handed 
to  the  guests  in  delicately-wrought  bowls,  and  silk 
and  gold  flowers  of  exquisite  form  and  colour  were 
presented  to  the  ladies.     Last  of  all,  a  great  golden 

^  Gruyer,  op.  cit.  ii.  5^5. 

PAIX   DES   DAMES  298 

pasty  was  placed  in  the  centre  of  the  board,  and  when 
the  Hd  was  removed  a  quantity  of  necklaces,  brace- 
lets, eaiTings,  and  brooches  were  brought  to  light. 
The  guests  drew  lots  for  these  jewels,  some  of  which 
were  worth  as  much  as  fifty  ducats  a  piece,  amid 
great  mirth  and  laughter,  after  which  Ariosto's 
Cassaria  was  performed  in  another  hall  under  the 
poet's  own  direction.  The  entertainment  closed  with 
a  ball,  which  was  kept  up  till  daybreak ;  but  Isabella, 
we  learn,  prudently  retired  at  midnight. 

Hardly  had  the  sound  of  wedding  festivities 
died  away,  than  events  took  place  which  altered 
Alfonso's  whole  pohcy.  The  disastrous  result  of 
the  French  invasion  of  Naples,  and  the  death  of 
Lautrec,  who  was  carried  off  by  the  plague,  together 
with  the  flower  of  his  army,  proved  fatal  to  Francis 
the  First's  ambitious  designs.  The  Pope  now  threw 
himself  into  the  Emperor's  arms,  and,  after  prolonged 
negotiations,  concluded  the  Treaty  of  Barcelona  on 
the  29th  of  June  1529.  By  this  agreement  the  pontiff 
was  to  recover  possession  of  his  lost  dominions,  in- 
cluding Modena  and  Reggio,  to  which  he  still  laid 
claim,  and  Clement's  kinsman,  Alessandro,  the  son  of 
the  dead  Lorenzo,  was  to  be  reinstated  in  Florence, 
which  had  shaken  off  the  yoke  of  the  Medici  im- 
mediately after  the  capture  of  Rome.  The  defeat  of 
St.  Pol's  army  in  Lombardy  by  Leyva  destroyed 
Francis  the  First's  last  hopes,  and  in  August  a  treaty 
was  signed  at  Cambray  by  the  Emperor's  aunt, 
Margaret  of  Austria,  and  the  King  of  France's 
mother,  Louise  de  Savoie.  By  this  agreement, 
Charles  V.  remained  in  undisturbed  possession  of 
Naples  and  Lombardy,  and  Francis  I.  sacrificed  his 
allies  of  Florence  and  Ferrara  to  the  Pope's  vengeance. 

294  CHARLES    V.    IN    ITALY 

The  triumph  of  Charles  was  complete,  and  on 
the  12th  of  August  he  landed  at  Genoa,  and  for  the 
first  time  set  foot  in  Italy.  It  had  long  been  his  wish 
to  receive  the  imperial  crown  in  Rome,  but  the 
horrors  of  the  siege  were  still  fresh  in  the  minds  of  all, 
and  Bologna  was  eventually  chosen  as  the  meeting- 
place  between  the  Pope  and  Emperor-elect.  Cardinal 
Ercole  Gonzaga  was  sent  by  the  Pope  to  meet 
Charles  at  Genoa,  together  with  the  two  young 
Medici  princes,  Alessandro,  who  was  soon  to  receive 
the  title  of  Duke  of  Florence,  and  Giuliano's  son, 
Ippolito,  who  at  the  age  of  eighteen  had  already 
been  created  a  cardinal.  The  Emperor  announced 
his  intention  of  visiting  his  good  friend,  the  Marquis 
of  Mantua,  on  the  way  to  Bologna,  and  both  Federico 
and  his  mother  made  great  preparations  to  receive 
their  illustrious  guest.  But  before  Charles  started 
on  his  journey,  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  eager  to  in- 
gratiate himself  with  the  all-powerful  monarch, 
begged  him  to  take  the  shorter  road  through 
Reggio  and  Modena,  and  placed  himself  and  his 
subjects  unreservedly  at  His  Majesty's  disposal. 
Alfonso  himself  rode  out  to  meet  Charles  near  Reggio, 
and  pleaded  his  cause  with  so  much  eloquence 
that  the  Emperor  not  only  accepted  his  invita- 
tion, but  spent  several  days  in  his  company.  The 
Duke  entertained  him  splendidly  both  at  Reggio 
and  Modena,  and  finally  escorted  him  to  the  border 
of  his  territories  on  his  way  to  Bologna.  Meanwhile 
Isabella,  realising  all  the  importance  of  the  occasion, 
and  feeling  how  great  were  the  issues  at  stake,  de- 
cided to  visit  Bologna  herself  and  meet  the  supreme 
heads  of  the  spiritual  and  temporal  world.  The 
Emperor  was  known  to  look  with   especial   favour 


on  the  house  of  Gonzaga,  and  had  shown  himself 
graciously  disposed  both  to  the  Marquis  and  Cardinal 
Ercole,  while  their  brother  Ferrante,  and  cousin, 
Luigi  Rodomonte,  were  among  the  most  valiant 
captains  in  his  service.  Ferrante,  in  fact,  was  at 
this  moment  marching  against  Florence,  as  lieutenant 
to  the  Prince  of  Orange,  at  the  head  of  an  Imperial 
army,  which  was  to  besiege  the  doomed  city  and 
crush  her  last  hopes  of  freedom. 

On  the  18th  of  September  this  young  prince  wrote 
the  following  letter  to  his  mother  from  the  Imperial 
camp  at  Castiglione  di  Arezzo  ^ : — 

"Most  illustrious  Lady  and  dearest  Mother, — 
Although  only  four  days  have  passed  since  I  wrote 
to  Your  Excellency  in  reply  to  the  letter  which  you 
sent  me  by  Messer  Salviati  da  Gubbio,  I  must  tell  you 
of  my  well-being  and  of  the  splendid  success  of  this 
invincible  army.  We  have  lately  obtained  possession 
of  Cortona,  one  of  the  strongest  cities  of  the  Floren- 
tine Republic,  after  besieging  it  during  three  days 
and  destroying  a  great  portion  of  the  walls.  Last 
night  the  garrison  surrendered  at  discretion,  the 
Prince  of  Orange  refusing  to  grant  any  conditions 
excepting  security  of  life  and  property  to  the  citizens. 
The  soldiers  gave  up  their  arms,  after  which  they 
were  set  free,  and  the  city  was  placed  under  com- 
missioners appointed  by  His  Holiness.  To-night  we 
are  at  Castiglione,  and  were  intending  to  attack 
Arezzo  to-morrow,  but  hear  that  it  has  surren- 
dered and  been  abandoned  by  its  garrison,  so  we 
shall  march  straight  against  Florence.  If  Your 
Excellency  wishes  to  know  the  strength  of  our  forces, 
we  have  9000  Italian  foot,  4000  German,  and  2000 
1  D'Arco,  op.  cit.  297. 


Spanish  infantry,  40  lances,  and  650  liglit  horse,  all 
of  thern  picked  men,  eager  for  battle.  And  now, 
from  my  heart,  I  commend  myself  to  Your  Ex- 
cellency, whose  most  gracious  person  may  God 
preserve  and  prosper  in  all  her  ways  I — Your  son, 
Ferrante.  From  the  camp  of  the  most  fortunate 
Caesarean  army,  near  Castiglione  Aretino." 

So  with  a  light  heart  and  high  courage  the  young 
soldier  led  his  forces  against  the  ancient  stronghold 
of  Italian  liberties,  while  on  the  bulwarks  of  San 
Miniato,  Michelangelo  was  repairing  the  bastions  to 
defend  Florence  in  her  last  struggle. 

When  this  letter  reached  Mantua,  Isabella  was 
preparing  to  start  on  her  journey,  but  on  the  way 
to  Bologna  she  paid  a  visit  to  a  Httle  town  some 
miles  farther  south,  which  had  lately  acquired  a  new 
interest  in  her  eyes.  This  was  Solarolo,  a  small  fief 
near  Imola,  which  Leo  X.  had  bestowed  in  1514 
upon  Cardinal  Sigismondo  Gonzaga,  in  gratitude  for 
his  support  at  the  time  of  his  election,  and  which, 
after  that  prelate's  death  in  1525,  Isabella  bought  for 
a  small  sum  of  money.  The  Marchesa  now  for  the 
first  time  paid  a  visit  to  her  new  subjects,  in  whose 
welfare  she  took  the  deepest  interest,  and  whose  city 
she  adorned  with  many  fine  buildings,  during  the 
last  years  of  her  hfe.^  After  a  sojourn  of  some  weeks 
in  this  pleasant  little  town,  Isabella  proceeded  to 
Bologna,  accompanied  by  a  brilhant  suite,  and  in  the 
last  days  of  November   entered  the  city  in  state. '^ 

^  Renier  in  Italia,  1888,  p.  16.  The  writer  of  this  article  there 
infoiined  us  that  he  had  in  his  possession  documents  regarding  this 
interesting  episode  in  Isabella's  life,  which  he  reserved  for  future 
publication,  but  which  have  not  yet  appeared. 

2  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  lii.  144. 


The  beauty  of  the  maidens  in  her  train,  and  the 
splendour  of  her  chariots  and  Hveries,  made  a  great 
impression  on  the  crowds  that  were  already  assembled 
to  witness  the  solemn  meeting  and  public  reconcilia- 
tion between  the  Pope  and  the  monarch  whose  army 
had  sacked  Rome.  Isabella  alighted  at  the  Palazzo 
Manzola  on  the  Piazza  di  San  Donato,  close  to 
S.  Giacomo  Maggiore,  the  favourite  church  of  the 
BentivogU,  and  the  chapel  which  held  Francia  and 
Costa's  frescoes  of  St.  Ceciha,  not  far  from  the 
ancient  leaning  towers  of  Garisenda  and  Asinelli 
sung  by  Dante  in  his  Inferno. 

Here  she  spent  the  next  four  months,  suiTounded 
by  her  family  and  friends,  and  witnessed  the  memor- 
able scenes  which  took  place  at  Bologna  in  the  course 
of  that  winter.  The  Pope  arrived  in  the  same  week, 
after  paying  a  visit  to  his  old  friend  the  Knight  of 
S.  John,  Sabba  da  Castiglione,  in  his  quiet  retreat  at 
the  house  of  his  order,  near  Faenza.  He  entered 
Bologna  in  state,  wearing  the  triple  tiara,  and  borne 
on  the  Sedia  gestatona,  with  sixteen  Cardinals  in  his 
train,  but  it  was  noticed  how  few  acclamations  greeted 
his  coming,  and  scarcely  a  voice  joined  in  the  cry — 
Viva  Papa  Clement e!  Charles  V.,  on  the  contrary, 
received  an  enthusiastic  welcome  from  the  people, 
when,  on  the  5th  of  November,  after  sleeping  at  the 
convent  of  the  Certosa  outside  the  walls,  he  made  his 
triumphal  entry  into  the  town.  Isabella  witnessed 
the  solemn  meeting  between  the  Pope  and  monarch 
from  a  balcony  opposite  San  Petronio,  and  on  the 
next  day  wrote  the  following  graphic  account  of  the 
scene  to  her  niece,  Ren^e  de  France : — 

"  Dearest  and  most  Illustrious  Lady, — Yesterday 
His  Csesarean  Majesty  came  from  Castelfranco  Bolog- 


nese  to  the  Certosa,  one  mile  from  Bologna,  and  was 
first  of  all  received  by  the  Governor  (Uberto  Gam- 
bara)  and  his  troops,  and  then  by  all   those   most 
reverend  Cardinals,  who  had  gone  out  to  meet  His 
Majesty  with  an  infinite  number  of  gentlemen.     His 
Majesty  spent  the  night  at  the  Certosa  with  part  of 
his  suite,  and  those  who  could  not  find  accommodation 
were  lodged  in  Bologna,  as  well  as  the  Monsignori  who 
went  out  to  salute  him.    To-day  the  entry  into  Bologna 
took  place  about  two  o'clock,  in  the  following  order. 
First  of  all  came  three  companies  of  light  horse  bear- 
ing lances,  all  very  well  armed  and  mounted.    Between 
them  were  the  artillery  and  engineers,  then  fourteen 
companies  of  infantry,  partly  armed  with  cross-bows, 
and  the  rest  with  pikes  and  halberds — all  very  fine- 
looking  men  and  well  armed.     In  the  midst  of  them 
was  Signor  Antonio  de  Leyva,  unarmed,  and  carried 
in  a  chair  by  his  servants,  because  he  is  crippled  with 
gout,  and  truly  there  was  in  him — borne  as  he  was  by 
others — no  less  vigour  and  majesty  than  if  he  had 
been  in  the  best  of  health  and  armed  from  head  to 
foot.     Behind  these  companies  came  the  Burgundian 
horse,    all     clad    in    white     armour,    with     velvet 
doublets  of  yellow,  red,  and   green.       After    them 
rode  another  splendid  company  of  light  horse,  armed 
with  lances,  and  wearing  cloth  doublets  of  the  same 
colours,  and  each  Burgundian  was  followed  by  a  page 
bearing  his  helmet   and   lance,   mounted  on  a   fine 
charger.       Then    came    His    Majesty's    gentlemen- 
in- waiting ;    all    in    full    armour,   and   doublets   and 
mantles   of   different   fashions   and    devices,  accord- 
ing to   their   own   taste   and  fancy.      Behind  these 
gentlemen  came  His  Majesty's  pages,  wearing  caps 
of  yellow   velvet,  with  velvet   suits  of  these  three 

THE   ENTRY   OF   CHARLES   V.       299 

colours,  yellow,  grey,  and  purple,  and  they  rode 
beautiful  and  graceful  horses,  jennets  as  well  as 
others,  all  richly  draped  and  harnessed. 

"At  this  moment  His  HoUness  descended  from 
his  palace,  borne  in  his  chair,  in  full  pontifical  robes, 
and  surrounded  by  his  chamberlains  and  gentlemen 
of  the  bedchamber.  The  Ambassadors  and  all  the 
most  reverend  Cardinals  went  on  foot  before  him, 
walking  two  and  two  at  a  time,  followed  by  infinite 
numbers  of  bishops  and  clergy,  and  mounted  a  wooden 
tribunal  which  had  been  erected  on  the  steps  in  front 
of  the  church  of  San  Petronio,  draped  with  white 
cloth.  The  floor  under  the  feet  of  His  Holiness  and 
the  Cardinals  was  covered  with  red  cloth,  and  the 
other  portions  occupied  by  less  exalted  personages  were 
draped  with  different  coloured  carpets.  On  the  oppo- 
site side  of  the  Piazza  came  the  royal  procession,  led  by 
His  Majesty's  guards,  all  of  them  fine-looking  men, 
wearing  the  same  liveries  as  the  court  pages.  Close  be- 
hind them  were  Caesar's  greatest  and  favourite  courtiers 
on  horseback,  all  armed,  and  wearing  the  richest 
doublets  and  mantles,  which  made  a  most  beautiful 
and  splendid  show.  Behind  them,  under  a  canopy  of 
cloth  of  gold,  borne  by  the  chief  citizens  of  Bologna, 
appeared  His  Cassarean  Majesty  with  one  of  his 
nobles — the  Grand  Marshal  Don  Alvarez,  Marquis 
Astorga — bearing  his  drawn  sword  aloft  before  him. 
His  Majesty  rode  a  most  beautiful  white  jennet,  and 
wore  a  doublet  and  vest  of  gold  brocade,  and  was  in 
full  armour,  only  his  right  arm  and  breast  being  un- 
covered. At  his  stirrup  walked  forty  young  nobles 
of  Bologna  in  white  satin  doublets,  lined  and  slashed 
with  gold  brocade,  with  white  velvet  caps  and  plumes 
and  rose-coloured  hose,  who  met  him  at  the  gate  by 

300        MEETING   WITH   THE   POPE 

which  His  Majesty  entered,  .ind  accompanied  him 
on  foot  through  the  streets. 

"  When  he  reached  the  steps  of  San  Petronio, 
His  Majesty  alighted  and  presented  himself  be- 
fore His  Holiness,  who  stood  up  to  receive  him, 
and  after  he  had  kissed  his  foot,  hand,  and  lips,  he 
was  very  tenderly  embraced  by  the  Holy  Father,  who 
made  him  take  a  seat  on  his  right  hand.  The  words 
which  His  Majesty  said  to  His  Holiness  were  these : 
*  Padre  sancto,  soy  venido  a  besar  los  pi^s  de  Vuestra 
Santitad,  lo  que  es  mucho  tempo  lo  deseava,  ayora 
lo  compido  co  I'obra ;  suplico  a  Dios  que  sea  en  su 
servicio  y  de  V.S.'  '  Holy  Father,  I  have  come  to  kiss 
the  feet  of  Your  Holiness,  an  act  which  I  have  long 
wished  to  do,  and  am  at  length  allowed  to  accomplish, 
and  I  pray  God  that  this  may  be  for  the  glory  of 
His  service  and  of  that  of  Your  Holiness.'  And 
these  words  were  spoken  by  His  Holiness  in  reply : 
'We  thank  God  who  has  brought  us  to  this  day 
which  we  have  so  long  desired  to  see,  and  hope  that 
Your  Majesty  may  be  the  means  of  gaining  great 
things  for  the  service  of  God  and  the  good  of  Chris- 
tendom.' After  this  His  Majesty  rose  to  his  feet 
and  offered  His  Holiness  a  purse  filled  with  gold 
pieces,  among  which  were  two  of  100  ducats  and 
a  great  many  others,  making  in  all  a  sum  of  1000 
ducats.  Then  all  those  who  were  with  His  Majesty 
9n  the  tribunal  kissed  the  feet  of  His  HoHness  the 
Pope.  So  they  spent  some  time  together,  but  had 
little  opportunity  for  any  private  conversation.  After 
that,  they  descended  the  steps,  and  Ceesar  offered  to 
conduct  His  HoUness  back  to  the  palace,  but  was 
induced  by  His  Holiness  to  remain  behind,  and  he 
entered    San   Petronio  with   four  of  the  Cardinals, 


Cesarini,  Ravenna,  Naples,  and  Ridolfi,  who  remained 
in  attendance  on  His  Majesty.  His  Holiness  then 
returned  to  his  rooms  borne  in  his  chair,  and  accom- 
panied by  the  other  Monsignori  on  foot.  And  while 
the  Emperor  alighted  and  knelt  before  the  Pope,  and 
entered  San  Petronio,  the  procession  of  his  guards 
continued  to  advance,  chiefly  light  horse  and  infantry 
with  a  great  number  of  guns.  And  when  he  had 
offered  thanks  to  our  Lord  God  and  performed  the 
usual  ceremonies,  he  walked,  still  on  foot,  between 
the  Cardinals  to  the  Palace,  where  his  lodgings  are 
prepared.  I  hear  from  those  who  have  seen  them, 
that  they  are  so  near  those  of  His  Holiness,  that  only 
a  single  wall  divides  one  room  from  the  other. 

"This  spectacle,  Madama  mia,  seemed  to  me  so 
splendid  that  I  confess  I  have  never  before  seen,  and 
can  never  expect  to  see  again,  anything  at  all  equal 
to  it.  And  if  I  had  tried  to  describe  all  its  details 
to  Your  Excellency,  I  should  have  given  you  too 
much  to  read  ;  but  this  I  must  tell  you,  that  through 
all  the  streets  where  His  Majesty  passed,  gold  and 
silver  coins  were  thrown  to  the  people  in  token  of 
rejoicing  and  princely  liberality.  It  remains  to  us 
to  implore  God  that  the  conference  held  by  these 
two  great  lords  who  have  met  together  here  may 
produce  those  good  results  which  we  all  desire,  and 
lead  to  the  restoration  of  universal  peace  in  Christen- 
dom. I  believe  that  Your  Illustrious  Highness  will 
be  informed  of  all  these  events,  with  perhaps  even 
greater  fulness,  by  your  ambassador.  None  the  less, 
to  satisfy  the  request  which  was  made  to  me  a  few 
days  ago  by  one  of  your  gentlemen  here,  I  have 
tried  to  give  you  this  account  by  letter."  ^ 

i  D'Arco,  op.  cii. 


The  sight  which  Isabella  had  that  day  witnessed 
might  well  rouse  her  enthusiasm.  There  were  many 
notable  figures  in  the  great  procession  that  slowly 
wound  its  way  through  the  ancient  streets  of  Bologna. 
Close  to  the  monarch's  person  rode  the  grandees 
of  Spain,  with  their  haughty  bearing  and  gorgeous 
clothes,  and  chief  among  them  the  mighty  soldier 
Leyva,  under  whose  iron  rule  Milan  groaned,  borne 
high  in  his  purple  velvet  litter  on  the  shoulders  of  his 
servants.  Cardinal  Campeggio,  the  legate,  was  there, 
newly  arrived  from  England,  where  he  had  been 
considering  the  vexed  question  of  King  Heniy  the 
Eighth's  divorce;  and  Ippolito  dei  Medici,  the 
youngest  member  of  the  Sacred  College,  whose 
strikingly  handsome  face  and  dark  eyes  are  familiar 
to  us  from  Titians  portrait,  and  must  have 
reminded  Isabella  of  his  father,  her  old  friend 
Giuliano.  There  was  the  aged  Admiral  Andrea 
Doria  and  the  boy  Marquis,  Bonifazio  of  Monferrato, 
the  last  heir  of  that  illustrious  race  of  Paleologhi 
who  had  once  reigned  as  Emperors  in  Constantinople. 
And  there,  too,  were  the  German  princes :  the  Count 
of  Nassau,  a  magnificent-looking  man,  clad  from 
head  to  foot  in  cloth  of  gold,  Albert  von  Branden- 
burg, who  claimed  kinship  with  the  Gonzagas,  ahd 
the  Count  Palatine  of  the  Rhine.  But  the  most 
remarkable  figure  in  all  that  splendid  train,  the 
one  on  whom  all  eyes  were  fixed  that  day,  was 
Csesar  himself,  this  young  monarch  of  twenty-nine, 
on  whose  dominions  the  sun  never  set,  and  who  held 
the  fate  of  Italy  in  the  hollow  of  his  hand.  The  spec- 
tators were  deeply  impressed  with  the  lofty  air  and 
majestic  bearing,  the  fair  locks  and  beard  and  fine  blue 
eyes  of  the  young  Emperor,  and  admired  the  stately 

AND    HIS    COURT  303 

courtesy  with  which  he  doffed  his  black  velvet  cap  to 
the  ladies  on  the  balconies  and  at  the  windows  along 
the  route.  Isabella,  who  alone  among  them  all  had 
been  present  at  the  siege  and  sack  of  Rome,  must  have 
watched  the  meeting  between  Pope  and  Emperor 
with  strangely-mingled  feelings.  The  Pope,  it  was 
noticed,  turned  pale  when  Charles  knelt  before  him, 
and  the  tears  streamed  down  his  cheeks  as  he  bent 
down  to  salute  the  monarch.  And  when  the  Em- 
peror inquired  after  his  health,  Clement  replied  that 
he  had  felt  distinctly  better  since  he  left  Rome — a 
remark  which  made  some  of  the  Spanish  courtiers 
smile.  But  these  sad  days  were  over,  and  Cardinals 
and  princes  looked  forward,  like  Isabella,  with  high 
hopes  to  the  conferences  that  were  to  close  the  long 
tale  of  warfare  and  misery,  and  bring  back  peace  and 
prosperity  to  distracted  Italy. 



Illustrious  visitors  to  Bologna — Veronica  Gambara  and  the  human- 
ists— Isabella's  political  objects — Ferrante  Gonzaga  seeks  the 
hand  of  Isabella  Colonna,  who  is  already  wedded  to  Luigi 
Rodomonte  —  Favour  shown  to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua — 
Francesco  Sforza  receives  the  investiture  of  Milan — Proclama- 
tion of  universal  peace — Florence  alone  excluded  from  the 
League — Fetes  and  balls  at  Christmas  and  Carnival — Charles 
V.  receives  the  iron  crown  of  Lombardy  and  the  golden  crown 
of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire  from  the  Pope's  hands — Coronation 
in  San  Petronio — The  Duke  of  Ferrara  comes  to  Bologna,  and 
is  reconciled  to  the  Pope. 

During  the  next  four  months,  all  the  most  illustrious 
personages  in  Italy  met  at  Bologna  to  assist  at  the 
Emperor's  coronation  or  to  pay  him  homage.  When 
Isabella  d'Este  arrived,  she  found  Veronica  Gambara 
living  in  the  Palazzo  JNIarsilio  with  her  brother 
Uberto,  the  Governor  of  Bologna,  while  her  other 
brother,  Brunoro,  the  Imperial  Chamberlain,  arrived 
with  Charles  V.  The  Emperor  himself  honoured 
this  distinguished  lady  with  frequent  visits,  and  her 
house  became  the  meeting-place  of  all  the  humanists 
and  poets  who  met  in  Bologna  that  winter.  Conta- 
rini  was  there  already  as  Venetian  ambassador,  and 
in  December,  Bembo  arrived  from  Padua.  Trissino, 
now  high  in  the  favour  of  Clement  VII.,  accompanied 
him  from  Rome,  and  had  the  honour  of  bearing  his 
train  at  the  coronation ;  while  the  historians,  Paolo 
Giovio  and  the  Florentine  Guicciardini,  were  both  in 



attendance  on  His  Holiness.  The  former  availed 
himself  of  the  Marchesa's  presence  to  beg  a  favour 
of  her,  as  we  learn  from  the  following  letter  which 
Isabella  addressed  to  the  Castellan,  Gian  Giacomo 
Calandra : — 

"Zovan  Jacopo, — Monsignor  Paolo  Jovio,  being 
anxious  to  print  some  of  his  Dialogues,  has  begged 
us  to  help  him  in  this  laudable  enterprise  by  giving 
him  70  reams  of  a  kind  of  paper  that  is  made  in 
Mantua,  as  the  messenger  sent  by  him  will  explain. 
And  we,  who  love  Messer  Paolo  greatly  for  his 
excellent  learning,  would  gladly  do  him  this  service. 
Accordingly  we  beg  you  to  execute  this  commission 
for  us,  knowing  how  wiUingly  you  will  take  part  in  so 
honourable  an  undertaking,  and  ask  you  to  see  that 
the  paper  shall  be  given  to  his  messenger.  You 
can  tell  the  papermakers  that  the  cost  of  this  paper 
will  be  defrayed  as  soon  as  I  return  to  Mantua. 
If  they  make  difficulties,  give  them  2  ducats  a  week, 
so  that  they  may  be  completely  satisfied,  and  our 
steward  will  provide  the  money.  Messer  Paolo  asks 
to  be  allowed  to  bring  this  paper  here  from  Mantua 
without  payment  of  customs  or  any  other  tax,  but  I 
do  not  know  if  this  can  be  managed,  since  all  the 
taxes  are  already  allotted.'     Bologna,  Nov.  21,  1529. 

Meanwhile,  Isabella's  devoted  servant,  Gian- 
francesco  Valier,  arrived  from  Venice  with  her  son 
Ercole's  friends,  the  poets  Antonio  Broccardo  and 
Molza,  who  still  addressed  sonnets  to  the  fair  Camilla 
Gonzaga,  now  the  wife  of  Count  Alessandro  di  Porto 
of  Vicenza,  and  Angelo  Colocci,  the  beloved  com- 
panion of  Bembo's  Roman  days.^  Once  more  the 
Marchesa  welcomed  these  old  friends  under  her  roof, 

^   V,  Cian,  Un  Decefinio,  &c.,  p.  148. 
VOL.  II.  U 


and  renewed  the  pleasant  meetings  and  literary  discus- 
sions which  she  had  held  in  Rome,  and  sighed  with 
them  over  the  ruin  of  the  Eternal  City. 

But  Isabella  had  graver  cares  than  these  to  fill  her 
time  and  thoughts.  There  were  many  important  poli- 
tical questions  to  be  settled  by  the  Pope  and  Emperor 
in  the  private  conferences  which  they  held  daily,  and 
most  of  these  concerned  Isabella  closely.  Next  in 
importance  to  the  interests  of  her  son  Federico,  were 
the  affairs  of  Ferrara  and  Milan.  There  was  the 
quarrel  of  her  brother  Alfonso  with  the  Pope  to  be 
made  up ;  and,  although  this  clever  prince  had  lost 
no  opportunity  of  paying  court  to  the  Emperor,  and 
kept  his  table  supplied  with  game  and  venison, 
Clement  was  still  implacable,  and  would  not  allow 
the  Duke  to  enter  Bologna.  And  there  was  the 
pardon  of  her  unfortunate  nephew  to  be  obtained 
from  the  Emperor,  who  had  not  forgiven  Francesco 
Sforza  for  taking  up  arms  against  him,  and  threatened 
to  deprive  him  of  his  State.  The  Pope,  however, 
espoused  this  unlucky  prince's  cause  warmly,  and 
before  many  days  a  message  was  sent  to  the  Duke 
of  Milan  desiring  his  presence  at  Bologna.^ 

Charles  now  proclaimed  that  he  meant  to  restore 
peace  to  Italy,  and  invited  all  those  who  had  griev- 
ances or  complaints  to  come  and  obtain  redress  for 
their  wrongs.  First  among  those  who  responded  to 
this  invitation  was  the  exiled  Queen  of  Naples,  Isa- 
bella del  Balzo,  the  widow  of  Frederic  II.,  and  last 
representative  of  the  proud  line  of  Altamura.     She 

^  Giordano,  Delia  venrtta  e  dimora  in  Bologna  del  Sommo  Pont. 
Clemente  VII.  per  la  Coronazione  di  Carlo  V.,  1 5.^0.  All  the  details 
of  the  ceremony  here  given  are  supplied  in  this  writer's  carefully- 
compiled  chronicle. 


came  from  Ferrara,  where  she  was  hving  in  great 
poverty,  and,  throwing  herself  at  the  Emperor's  feet, 
begged  him  to  have  pity  upon  her  two  daughters. 
Charles  received  the  widowed  Queen  with  the  courtesy 
due  to  her  rank  and  misfortunes,  and  not  only  com- 
forted her  with  promises  of  liberal  help,  but,  before 
he  left  Italy,  arranged  a  marriage  between  her  elder 
daughter,  the  Infanta  Giulia,  and  the  Marquis  Fede- 
rico  Gonzaga.  Every  day  now  brought  fresh  arrivals, 
and  the  picturesque  streets  of  Bologna  were  thronged 
with  gay  cavalcades.  On  the  13th  of  November,  the 
Prince  of  Orange  arrived  from  the  camp  before 
Florence,  to  inform  the  Emperor  of  the  determined 
resistance  which  the  Republic  offered,  and  ask  for 
orders  how  to  proceed.  With  him  came  Ferrante 
Gonzaga,  bent  on  business  of  his  own.^  It  was  his 
intention  to  ask  the  Emperor  for  the  hand  of  the 
great  heiress,  Isabella  Colonna,  whose  father,  Ves- 
pasiano,  had  died  only  two  years  after  his  marriage 
to  GiuUa  Gonzaga,  leaving  his  only  child  betrothed 
to  the  Pope's  kinsman,  Ippolito  dei  Medici.  But  the 
intended  bridegroom  soon  abandoned  his  suit,  having 
fallen  in  love  with  his  affianced  wife's  beautiful  step- 
mother Giuha,  and  before  long  his  elevation  to  the 
Cardinalate  put  an  end  to  his  matrimonial  schemes. 
Ferrante  felt  that  this  was  a  good  opportunity  to 
secure  the  hand  of  the  rich  heiress,  and  relied  on 
the  Emperor's  marked  favour  and  his  mother's 
influence  to  obtain  his  wish.  But  he  was  too  late 
in  the  field.  After  Vespasiano  Colonna's  death  in 
March  1528,  the  Orsini  took  advantage  of  the  general 
confusion  in  Rome  and  ApuUa  to  seize  his  daughter's 
estates,  and  wage  a  desperate  war  against  the  Colonna 

1  Giordano,  op,  cit. 


followers.  Upon  this,  the  Pope  sent  Giulia  Gon- 
zaga's  own  brother,  Tjiiigi  Rodomonte,  the  gallant 
young  captain  who  had  protected  him  in  his 
flight  to  Orvieto,  to  the  help  of  these  distressed 
ladies.  After  a  hard-fought  campaign,  this  brave 
knight  succeeded  in  defeating  the  foe  and  re- 
covering the  castle  of  Palliano  for  the  Colonnas. 
Antonia  del  Balzo's  grandson  was  not  only  a  man 
of  great  strength  and  stature,  who  could  break  ropes 
and  horse-shoes  in  his  hands,  but  a  cultured  and 
charming  prince,  a  poet  himself  and  the  friend  of 
poets. ^  The  heiress  promptly  fell  in  love  with  this 
Paladin  of  romance  who  had  come  to  her  rescue,  and, 
before  the  hero  left  Palliano,  he  was  secretly  married 
to  Isabella  Colonna.  Fearing  the  Pope's  anger, 
Giulia  Gonzaga  and  her  brother  decided  to  keep  the 
marriage  secret,  and  Luigi  returned  to  his  post  and 
marched  against  Florence  with  the  Imperial  army. 
But  when  he  heard  that  his  cousin  Ferrante  had 
asked  for  the  hand  of  the  heiress,  he  hastened  to 
Bologna  and  produced  his  marriage  contract  as  the 
best  proof  that  Isabella  was  already  his  wife.  After 
this  there  was  nothing  more  to  be  said.  The  Pope 
and  Emperor  both  declared  the  marriage  to  be  valid, 
the  hero  received  the  congratulations  of  his  friends, 
and,  when  the  campaign  against  Florence  was  ended, 
he  returned  in  triumph  to  Palliano  and  claimed  his 
bride.  Ferrante  soon  afterwards  consoled  himself 
with  another  wealthy  Neapolitan  heiress,  Isabella  of 
Capua,  daughter  of  the  Duca  di  Tremoli,  whom  he 
married  in  April  1531.^ 

On    the    20th    of    November,    the    Marquis    of 

^   AfF6,  Fita  di  Luigi  Rodomonte,  pp.  45,  &c. 

^  Litta,  Famiglie,  Tavola  xiv. ;  M.  Sauuto,  Diarii,  liv.  385, 

THE  MARQUIS   OF   MANTUA         309 

Mantua  himself  entered  Bologna  with  a  splendid 
train  of  courtiers,  and  proceeded  straight  to  the 
Palazzo  Manzoli,  where  he  was  welcomed  affection- 
ately by  his  mother.  The  Pope's  household  rode  out 
to  meet  him,  and  the  Emperor  honoured  Federico 
with  marks  of  especial  favour,  and  invited  him 
to  occupy  rooms  close  to  his  own.  Before  long, 
Charles  V.  graciously  informed  the  Marchesa  of 
his  intention  to  raise  her  son  to  the  rank  of  Duke, 
and  further  intimated  his  wilUngness  to  visit  her 
at  JNIantua  on  his  return  to  Germany.  Isabella's 
highest  ambition  was  thus  gratified,  and  on  the  15th 
of  December,  Federico  left  Bologna  to  make  pre- 
parations for  the  fitting  reception  of  his  august 
guest.  ^ 

Both  Federico  and  his  mother  exerted  all  their 
influence  with  the  Emperor  on  behalf  of  Fran- 
cesco Sforza.  This  prince  had  never  recovered 
from  the  dangerous  wound  which  he  had  received 
from  the  conspirator,  Bonifazio  Visconti,  six  years 
before.  He  could  only  travel  in  a  litter,  and  when 
he  reached  Bologna  on  the  22nd  of  November, 
he  was  stiU  so  weak  that  he  could  not  stand  in  the 
Emperor's  presence.  But  Charles  received  him 
kindly,  and  it  was  noticed  by  the  Duke's  friends, 
as  a  good  omen,  that  he  spoke  to  him  in  Ger- 
man, a  language  which  his  enemy,  Leyva,  could 
not  understand,  and  looked  at  Francesco  with 
a  smile,  while  the  grim  Spanish  general  stood 
sullenly  by.  After  prolonged  conferences,  the  Duke 
finally  received  the  investiture  of  INIilan,  on  pay- 
ment of  an  enormous  tribute,  which  his  unhappy 
subjects,  already  ruined   by   war   and   famine,  were 

*  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit.,  lii.  376. 


utterly  unable  to  raise,  and  T^eyva  was  granted  the 
city  of  Pavia  for  his  life.  The  Venetian  envoy, 
Contarini,  was  next  admitted  to  the  Emperor's 
presence,  and  terms  of  peace  between  the  Signoiy 
and  the  Pope  were  arranged.  On  Christmas  Eve 
a  treaty  drawn  up  by  the  Imperial  Chancellor, 
Cardinal  Gattinara,  was  signed  by  the  Pope,  the 
Emperor,  Venice,  Milan,  Mantua,  Savoy,  and  Mon- 
ferrato.  The  Duke  of  Ferrara's  name  was  inserted 
in  the  treaty  by  the  Emperor's  express  wish,  but 
the  final  settlement  of  his  quarrel  with  the  Pope 
was  deferred  to  a  future  date.  Only  Florence  was 
excluded  from  the  League,  and  the  unfortunate 
deputies  who  had  been  sent  to  plead  her  cause 
were  not  even  allowed  to  enter  the  Emperor's  pres- 

"Now  indeed,"  exclaimed  Cardinal  Pucci,  "we 
can  sing  the  Gloria  with  the  angels,  since  peace  and 
goodwill  are  restored  to  men." 

The  Emperor  attended  midnight  mass  in  the 
papal  chapel,  and  received  the  Sword  with  the  Dove 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  which  the  Pope  had  blessed,  and 
himself  chanted  the  first  words  of  the  Gospel,  "  In 
that  time  an  edict  went  forth  from  Augustus  that 
all  the  world  should  be  taxed."  Isabella  d'Este 
and  all  the  illustrious  guests  who  were  by  this  time 
assembled  in  Bologna,  were  present  at  the  solemn 
mass  at  San  Petronio  on  Christmas  Day,  when  the 
Pope  was  the  celebrant,  and  gave  the  Emperor  the 
kiss  of  peace.  On  the  last  day  of  the  year,  the 
papal  bull  proclaiming  a  general  peace  was  pubUcly 
read  from  the  steps  of  the  Palazzo  Pubblico,  and 
a  solemn  Te  Deum  was  chanted,  after  which  the 
Duke  of  Milan  and  all  the  great  feudatories  of  the 

PROCLAMATION   OF   PEACE         311 

Emperor  and  the  Church,  succeeded  by  the  foreign 
ambassadors  and  princes,  kissed  the  Pope's  feet.^ 

On  the  18th  of  January,  the  Emperor  received 
a  deputation  from  the  University  of  Bologna,  and 
conferred  the  title  of  Mother  of  Universities,  together 
with  many  new  privileges,  on  this  ancient  founda- 
tion. On  the  same  day  the  poet,  Girolamo  di  Casio, 
Isabella's  old  friend,  received  the  laurel  crown  from 
the  hands  of  the  Emperor  and  the  Pope.  On  the 
25th,  a  magnificent  embassy  of  Venetian  senators, 
clad  in  trailing  robes  of  black  velvet  and  gold  togas, 
and  wearing  massive  gold  chains,  amved  in  Bologna, 
and  rode  through  the  city  followed  by  youths  bearing 
large  bowls  filled  with  golden  crowns  which  they  pre- 
sented to  the  Emperor,  who  received  them  in  great 
state  seated  on  his  throne  in  the  Sala  Grande.  From 
Christmas  till  the  end  of  the  carnival,  a  series  of  ban- 
quets, jousts,  masquerades,  and  balls  were  given 
by  the  Marchesa  Isabella,  Veronica  Gambara,  and 
other  august  persons.  Charles  himself  was  often 
present  on  these  occasions,  and  spoke  graciously  to 
the  illustrious  guests,  and  won  golden  opinions  by 
his  courtesy  to  all  the  ladies  present. 

Unfortunately  these  festive  gatherings  did  not 
always  tend  to  peace.  As  before  at  Milan,  the 
Spanish  and  Italian  cavaliers  quarrelled  over  the 
bright  eyes  of  Isabella's  maids-of-honour,  and  more 
than  once  their  revelries  ended  in  bloodshed.  The 
Spanish  nobles  were  also  very  ready  to  quarrel 
with  the  German  lords,  and  on  the  last  day  of 
the  year,  when  peace  was  pubUcly  proclaimed  in 
San  Petronio,  Alfonso  d'Avalos,  the  proud  young 
Marchese  del  Vasto,  caught  sight  of  a  simply  clad 

^  Giordano,  ap.  cit. 

812        CHARLES   V.'S   POPULARITY 

man  standing  near  him  and  pushed  him  violently 
away.  He  was  told  to  his  surprise  tliat  this  was  a 
German  prince,  a  brother  of  the  Duke  of  Wiirtem- 
berg,  upon  which  he  declined  to  apologise,  saying 
that  a  nobleman  of  his  rank  ought  to  know  better 
than  to  appear  at  court  in  such  mean  attire.^  The 
haughty  airs  of  these  Castilian  grandees  and  the 
readiness  of  their  servants  to  take  offence  constantly 
led  to  brawls  with  the  citizens  of  Bologna,  while 
the  German  landsknechte  plundered  the  shops,  and 
one  evening  a  troop  of  Lutheran  soldiers  threw 
down  a  statue  of  Pope  Clement  and  burnt  the 
head  on  their  camp  fire.  But  Charles  V.  and  his 
chief  captains  did  their  utmost  to  restrain  these 
excesses,  and  the  Emperor  himself  set  an  ex- 
ample of  courtesy  and  kindly  toleration  to  all.  His 
simple  habits  and  refined  tastes  quickly  won  the 
hearts  of  the  few  Italian  princes  who  were  admitted 
to  his  intimacy.  He  generally  devoted  the  morn- 
ings to  private  conferences  with  the  Pope  or  his 
Chancellor,  but  spent  the  afternoons  in  visiting  the 
oldest  and  most  interesting  churches  in  the  city,  and 
examining  the  frescoes  and  paintings  with  which  they 
were  adorned.  As  a  rule,  he  took  these  expeditions 
on  foot,  clad  in  his  plain  suit  and  cap  of  black  velvet, 
and  attended  only  by  a  few  courtiers.  Sometimes 
he  was  accompanied  by  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  and 
more  often  by  his  favourite,  Alfonso  d'Avalos, 
Marquis  del  Vasto,  the  cousin  of  Vittoria  Colonna's 
dead  husband.  On  fine  days  the  Emperor  would 
ride  out  to  S.  Michele  in  Bosco,  or  other  points  of 
interest  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  admire  the  fine 
views  from  the  hills  round  Bologna. 

1  Reumont,  Rom.,  p.  246. 


At  length  all  the  preparations  for  the  great 
ceremony  of  the  double  Coronation  were  complete, 
and  on  the  22nd  of  February,  Charles  V.  received 
the  iron  crown,  which  had  been  sent  from  Monza  by 
order  of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  from  the  Pope's  hands. 
A  Flemish  Cardinal,  Wilhelm  Enckefort,  the  friend 
and  companion  of  Adrian  VI.,  who  had  paid  40,000 
crowns  for  his  ransom  in  the  sack  of  Rome,  and  still 
wore  his  beard  long  in  sign  of  mourning,  anointed 
the  monarch,  and  administered  the  communion  to 
him  on  this  occasion,  while  the  Spanish  Grand 
Marshal  Astorga  bore  the  royal  sceptre,  and  the 
Marquis  of  Monferrato  presented  the  u'on  crown  to 
the  Pope.  That  afternoon  the  Duke  and  Duchess 
of  Urbino  entered  Bologna  in  state.  Francesco 
Maria  had  led  the  armies  of  the  League  against  the 
Emperor  for  several  years,  but  as  Captain-General 
of  the  Venetians  and  of  the  Church,  he  was  now 
received  with  the  highest  honours.  Both  the 
Pope  and  Emperor  sent  their  households  to  meet 
him,  and  all  the  illustrious  visitors  assembled  to 
greet  the  Duke  and  Duchess.  No  General  had  made 
greater  blunders  or  been  more  unfortunate  in  his 
campaigns.  But  on  this  occasion  his  martial  air, 
and  that  of  the  captains  who  rode  beside  him,  as 
well  as  the  remarkable  beauty  of  Leonora,  excited 
general  admiration. 

On  the  23rd,  the  Emperor's  brother-in-law,  Charles, 
Duke  of  Savoy,  arrived,  as  well  as  the  King  of  Hun- 
gary's ambassador,  the  Bishop  of  Trent,  accompanied 
by  a  suite  of  Hungarian  nobles,  whose  blazing  jewels 
and  costumes  of  barbaric  splendour  attracted  much 

1  Giordano,  op.  cit. 


The  Feast  of  St.  Matthias,  being  the  Emperor's 
birthday  and  the  anniversary  of  the  victory  of  Pavia, 
had  been  chosen  for  the  great  function.  The  morn- 
ing broke  clear  and  bright  after  a  night  of  heavy  rain, 
and  all  the  bells  in  Bologna  rang  joyous  peals  from 
early  dawn.  One  of  the  first  to  be  up  and  stirring 
was  Antonio  de  Leyva,  who  ordered  his  servants  to 
carry  him  in  a  litter  to  the  Piazza  in  front  of  San 
Petronio,  and  himself  superintended  the  disposal  of 
the  Italian,  Spanish,  and  German  guards  who  were 
to  line  the  streets.  The  artillery  was  drawn  up  in 
the  square,  and  the  guards  at  the  city  gate  were 
doubled.  A  wooden  bridge  was  erected  between  the 
Palazzo  and  the  church,  hung  with  sky-blue  draperies 
and  wreathed  with  garlands  of  flowers,  of  myrtle  and 
laurel  boughs,  and  a  double  file  of  tall  Burgundian 
soldiers,  the  flower  of  the  German  army,  guarded  this 
gallery,  along  which  the  Pope  and  Emperor  passed 
into  San  Petronio.  First  came  the  doctors  of  the 
University,  in  their  fur  collars  and  gold  chains,  and 
the  rector  in  his  purple  robes.  Then  the  archbishops 
and  bishops,  wearing  their  mitres  and  violet  copes, 
and  the  cardinals  in  scarlet,  preceding  the  Pope,  who 
was  borne  on  the  Sedia  gestatoria,  hung  with  cloth 
of  gold,  by  the  Papal  grooms  in  red  liveries.  His 
Holiness  wore  the  triple  tiara,  and  his  golden  cope 
was  fastened  by  a  marvellous  jewel  with  a  representa- 
tion of  God  the  Father  in  glory,  engraved  by  Ben- 
venuto  Cellini,  and  containing  the  famous  diamond 
worn  by  Charles  the  Bold  at  Nancy,  and  afterwards 
the  property  of  Lodovico  Sforza  and  Pope  JuUus  11.^ 

Then  a  mighty  flourish  of  trumpets  announced 
the   coming   of  Caesar.      Before   him   came  heralds 

1  B.  Cellini,  Trattato,  p.  50. 


from  all  parts  of  his  vast  dominions,  from  Naples 
and  Sicily,  Austria  and  Burgundy,  Spain  and  Navarre, 
and  ambassadors  from  France,  England,  Scotland, 
Hungary,  Bohemia,  Poland,  Portugal,  and  the  dif- 
ferent states  of  Italy.  Four  great  officers  of  state 
foUowed — the  young  Marquis  of  Monferrato  clad  in 
scarlet  velvet  robes  trimmed  with  ermine,  bore  the  royal 
sceptre  ;  Philip,  Duke  of  Bavaria  and  Count  Palatine, 
robed  in  purple,  carried  the  orb  of  the  world  ;  the  Duke 
of  Urbino,  wearing  crimson  satin  robes  and  peaked 
ermine  cap,  held  the  sword  of  state  as  Prefect  of 
Rome.  Last  of  all,  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  as  Vicar  of 
the  Empire,  clad  in  a  magnificent  robe  of  purple, 
embroidered  with  gold  and  silver,  and  glittering  with 
jewels,  bore  the  Imperial  diadem  on  a  golden  cushion. 
After  these,  escorted  by  a  chosen  suite  of  Spanish 
grandees  and  Neapolitan  nobles,  among  whom  the 
Grand  Marshal  Astorga  and  the  Viceroy  of  Naples, 
Don  Pedro  de  Toledo,  were  conspicuous,  came  the 
Emperor-elect,  wearing  a  flowing  mantle  of  gold 
brocade  over  his  Imperial  robes,  and  the  iron  crown 
of  Lombardy  on  his  head.  The  procession  was 
delayed  for  some  minutes  by  a  violent  quaiTel  for 
precedence  between  the  Genoese  and  Sienese  ambas- 
sadors, who  "  from  high  words  passed  to  blows  and 
cuffs,"  and  just  as  the  Emperor  set  foot  in  the  church, 
the  wooden  bridge  collapsed  with  a  sudden  crash. 
Great  alarm  was  excited,  and  many  of  the  guards 
were  badly  shaken  and  bruised,  but  no  serious  injury 
was  done,  and  Charles  preserved  the  most  complete 
presence  of  mind,  "  confident,"  writes  Paolo  Giovio, 
*'  in  his  own  good  fortune."  ^ 

Then  the  imposing  ceremony  began.      All   the 

^  Giordano,  op.  cit. 

81f)  BY   POPE   CLEMENT   VII. 

elaborate  ritual  of  mediccval  days  was  fully  oy)served. 
The  Emperor  took  the  oath  of  defender  and  protector 
of  the  Church  on  the  Book  of  the  Gospels,  was  conse- 
crated as  a  deacon,  and  received  holy  unction  from 
Cardinal  Farnese  at  the  high  altar,  after  which  the 
Pope  solemnly  invested  him  with  the  Imperial  in- 
signia. "  Accipe  gladium  sanctum^'  were  the  words 
pronounced  when  the  sword  was  fastened  to  his  side ; 
^^  Accipe  virgam"  and  ^^  Accipe  pomumr  were  said  as 
the  sceptre  and  orb  were  delivered  into  his  hands ; 
and  '^Accipe  signum  gloiice!''  when  at  length  the 
golden  diadem  was  placed  upon  his  brow.  The 
Emperor  kissed  the  Pope's  feet  and  took  his  seat  on 
the  throne,  two  steps  lower  than  the  Papal  chair, 
while  the  heralds  proclaimed  in  a  loud  voice : 
"Emperor  of  the  Romans  and  Lord  of  the  whole 
world."  '"  Romanorum  Imperator  semper  augustus^ 
mundi  totius  Dominus,  universis  Dominis,  universis 
Principibus  et  Populis  semper  venerandus.''  Then  a 
great  shout  arose  from  the  assembled  multitude, 
"  Vivat  Carolus  Imperator !  Evviva  Carlo  Cesare ! " 
The  tumult  of  acclamations  drowned  the  sound  of 
the  trumpets,  and  the  noise  of  guns  and  bells  told 
the  crowds  assembled  in  the  streets  and  on  the  roofs, 
that  the  solemn  act  was  completed,  and  that  a  Roman 
Emperor  had  once  more  received  the  crown  from  the 
hands  of  the  Vicar  of  Christ. 

The  newly-crowned  Csesar  received  communion 
devoutly,  and,  after  shaking  hands  with  the  Pope, 
held  the  stu-rup  while  His  Holiness  mounted  his  grey 
Barbary  horse  at  the  foot  of  the  steps  leading  down 
to  the  Piazza.  Then  Charles  in  his  turn  mounted 
the  white  charger,  superbly  draped  with  pearl  brocade, 
which  was  led  up  by  Prince  Doria  and  the  Duke 


of  Urbino,  and  rode  at  the  Pope's  side  under  a 
baldacchino,  supported  by  the  chief  doctors  and 
nobles  of  Bologna.  So  the  great  procession  wound 
slowly  through  the  gaily-decorated  streets,  while  from 
roofs,  windows,  and  balconies  rang  the  same  mighty 
cry:  "^  Viva  Carlo  V.!  Imperator gloriosissinius  f' 

On  his  return  to  the  Palace,  Charles  retired  for  a 
brief  interval  of  sorely  needed  rest  after  the  fatigue 
of  the  long  ceremony,  and  then  sat  down  to  the 
banquet  prepared  in  the  Sala  Grande.  According  to 
ancient  custom,  the  Emperor  sat  alone  at  the  high 
table,  while  the  chief  cardinals  and  princes  who  had 
taken  part  in  the  ceremony  were  immediately  below, 
and  sixty  other  illustrious  guests  were  entertained  in 
the  adjoining  hall.  At  the  end  of  the  banquet, 
Charles  drank  to  the  Pope's  health,  and  Cardinal 
Ippolito  dei  Medici,  in  the  name  of  His  Holiness, 
toasted  the  Empress  and  her  infant  son,  the  Prince 
of  Spain.  Afterwards  the  Emperor  received  the  con- 
gratulations of  his  courtiers,  while  his  chamberlains 
flung  gilded  and  coloured  confetti  to  the  crowds  on 
the  brilliantly  -  illuminated  Piazza  below.  Several 
ItaHan  princes  of  high  rank  and  station  were,  it  was 
remarked,  absent  from  the  ceremony.  The  Duke  of 
Milan  was  too  ill  to  bear  the  fatigue  ;  Prince  Ferrante 
of  Salerno  was  affronted  that,  although  a  kinsman  of 
the  Emperor,  he  had  not  been  chosen  to  take  part 
in  the  ceremony ;  and  Federico  Gonzaga  excused 
himself  from  being  present  because  he  was  making 
preparations  to  receive  the  Emperor  at  Mantua. 

On  the  26th,  an  ox  was  roasted  on  the  Piazza,  and 
the  soldiers  on  duty  were  feasted  at  the  expense 
of  the  city  of  Bologna.  On  Sunday  the  27th,  the 
Emperor  attended  high  mass  in  state  at  S.  Giovanni 


del  Monte,  and  afterwards  carefully  examined  Raph- 
ael's St.  Cecilia  and  the  fine  altar-pieces  by  Francia, 
Costa,  and  Perugino,  with  which  this  church  was  then 
adorned.  The  same  evening  he  invited  twenty  great 
ladies,  among  whom  were  Isabella  d'Este,  her  daughter 
Leonora,  and  Veronica  Gambara,  to  a  dance  in  his 
rooms,  and  sent  them  all  costly  presents  on  the 
following  morning.  During  the  last  days  of  carnival 
a  series  of  brilliant  fetes,  masques,  comedies,  and  balls 
were  held.  But  the  citizens  of  Bologna  could  no 
longer  endure  the  daily  insults  which  they  received 
from  the  Spanish  soldiers,  and  Count  Pepoli,  deter- 
mined to  put  an  end  to  their  insolence,  took  upon 
himself  to  punish  some  of  the  most  notorious  offen- 
ders. A  serious  tumult  followed,  in  which  many 
lives  were  lost,  and  Antonio  de  Leyva  complained 
angrily  to  the  Pope  of  the  affronts  offered  by  his 
subjects  to  the  Imperial  guards.  Fortunately, 
Charles  intervened,  and  wisely  ordered  the  Spanish 
troops  to  leave  the  town  and  encamp  outside  the 

On  the  4th  of  March,  the  octave  of  the  Corona- 
tion, the  Emperor  entertained  all  the  princes  and 
prelates  at  a  grand  banquet,  and  at  five  o'clock  that 
evening  rode  out,  attended  by  several  of  his  chief 
guests,  to  meet  his  sister-in-law,  Beatrice  of  Portugal, 
Duchess  of  Savoy.  The  arrival  of  this  princess, 
whose  beauty  and  charm  made  her  a  great  favourite 
with  the  Emperor,  created  a  marked  sensation.  She 
rode  a  white  horse,  draped  with  gold  brocade,  wear- 
ing a  robe  of  mulberry-coloured  satin,  trimmed  with 
gold  fringe,  a  black  velvet  cap  with  drooping  white 
plumes,  and  a  pearl  necklace  hanging  down  to  her 
waist,  while  her  hair  was  caught  up  by  a  jewelled 


fillet.  In  her  train  came  eighteen  fair  maids-of- 
honour,  riding  white  horses  and  wearing  the  same 
black  velvet  caps  and  white  feathers,  and  thirty 
mules,  with  scarlet  trappings,  led  by  pages  in  red 
liveries.  The  Venetian  envoys  were  profoundly  im- 
pressed both  by  the  loveliness  of  the  young  Duchess 
and  by  the  courtesy  and  gallantry  of  the  Em- 
peror, who  himself  escorted  his  sister-in-law  to  her 

At  the  same  time  they  were  much  struck  by 
the  small  stature  and  ungainly  appearance  of  her 
husband,  Duke  Charles  of  Savoy.  "  She  is  tall  and 
very  beautiful,  and  appears  to  be  about  twenty-two 
years  of  age ;  he  is  small  and  ugly,  and  nearer  fifty 
than  forty."  ^ 

The  Duchess  took  up  her  abode  in  the  Palazzo 
Pepoli,  close  to  Isabella  d'Este's  quarters,  and  during 
the  next  fortnight  her  rooms  became  the  meeting- 
place  of  all  the  chief  personages  in  Bologna.  Charles 
V.  paid  his  charming  sister-in-law  frequent  visits, 
and  at  his  request  she  repeatedly  invited  the  Duke 
and  Duchess  of  Urbino  to  meet  him.  Leonora's 
majestic  beauty  made  a  great  impression  on  the 
Emperor,  and  he  visited  her  in  the  Palazzo  Rossi 
and  held  long  conferences  with  Francesco  Maria, 
whose  opinion  on  military  matters  he  valued  highly 
in  spite  of  his  ill-success  in  the  recent  campaign. 
Before  leaving  Bologna  he  offered  the  Duke  the 
chief  command  of  the  Imperial  armies  ;  but  Francesco 
Maria  declined  the  honour,  saying  that  he  was 
pledged  to  the  service  of  the  Venetian  Signory,  who 
courteously  told  the  Emperor  that  they  were  unable 
to  spare  him.     Last  of  aU,  after  dark,  on  the  night  of 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diaiii,  liii.  45. 


the  7th  of  March,  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  arrived  in 
Bologna.  The  Pope  had  reluctantly  consented  to 
give  him  a  safe- conduct,  at  the  urgent  request  of  the 
Emperor,  who  on  his  part  welcomed  Alfonso  warmly, 
and  invited  him  to  assist  that  evening  at  the  per- 
formance of  a  comedy  composed  by  a  Lucchese  poet. 
During  the  next  fortnight  Charles  V.  succeeded  in 
effecting  a  reconciliation  between  the  Pope  and  the 
Duke,  by  which  Alfonso  was  allowed  to  retain 
Modena  and  Reggio,  on  payment  of  large  sums  of 
money  both  to  the  Emperor  and  the  Church.  Charles 
appears  to  have  found  Alfonso  a  very  pleasant  com- 
panion, and  afterwards  declared  that  the  Duke  of 
Ferrara  was  the  wisest  and  wittiest  prince  in  Italy. 
They  often  rode  out  together,  and  one  day  Charles 
took  the  Duke  to  visit  the  shop  of  Fra  Damiano 
da  Bergamo,  the  celebrated  worker  in  intarsiatura. 
"  Who  is  there  ? "  asked  the  friar  when  the  Emperor 
knocked  at  the  door.  "  Charles  of  Austria,"  was  the 
reply,  upon  which  Fra  Damiano  opened  the  door 
promptly,  but  closed  it  again  as  quickly,  on  seeing 
the  Emperor's  companion.  Charles  asked  him  with  a 
smile  why  he  refused  to  admit  the  Duke  of  Ferrara. 
"  Because,"  replied  the  artist,  "  His  Excellency  makes 
me  pay  such  exorbitant  tolls  on  the  iron  carving  tools 
which  I  buy  at  Ferrara."  Both  Emperor  and  Duke 
greeted  this  reply  with  laughter,  and  when  Alfonso 
had  seen  Fra  Damiano's  work,  he  promised  to  let 
him  have  his  tools  free  of  customs  in  future,  and 
was  presented  with  a  fine  intarsia  by  the  grateful 

After  this  Isabella  d'Este  had  every  reason  to  be 
satisfied  with  the  result  of  the  conferences  at  Bologna. 
Her  brother  and  nephew  had  made  their  peace  with 


the  Pope  and  Emperor,  her  daughter  and  son-in-law 
had  received  the  highest  honours  from  Charles  V., 
and  now  the  Emperor  was  about  to  bestow  a  last  and 
crowning  mark  of  his  favour  upon  her  eldest  son. 
On  the  17th  of  March  the  Duchess  of  Savoy  gave  a 
brilliant  fete  at  the  Palazzo  PepoU,  to  which  the  Mar- 
chesa  Isabella,  the  Dukes  of  Ferrara  and  IVIilan,  and 
the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Urbino  were  all  invited. 
The  Emperor  was  present  during  two  hours,  and 
conversed  pleasantly  with  some  of  the  ladies  in  one 
saloon,  while  music  and  dancing  went  on  in  the 
other  rooms.  But  after  his  departure,  the  Savoyard 
courtiers,  resenting  the  insolence  of  some  of  the 
Spanish  nobles  who  took  hberties  with  the  Duchess's 
lovely  maids-of-honour,  drew  their  swords,  and  three 
Spaniards  were  killed  and  seven  of  the  Bolognese 
servants  wounded.  According  to  some  accounts^ 
Isabella  d'Este's  ladies  were  mixed  up  in  this  quarrel. 
Giordano  says  that  no  less  than  eighteen  Spaniards 
were  slain  in  the  riot,  and  that,  so  much  annoyed  was 
the  Marchesa  by  these  scandals,  that  she  left  Bologna 
the  next  day.^  On  the  other  hand,  Signor  Renier 
declares  this  to  be  an  exaggeration,  and  says  that  the 
true  cause  of  Isabella's  hurried  departure  for  INlantua, 
was  the  need  she  felt  of  rest  and  change  of  air  after 
the  fatigues  of  these  prolonged  festivities.  But,  in 
any  case,  she  left  Bologna  on  the  21st  of  March,  after 
taking  the  most  cordial  farewell  of  His  Imperial 
Majesty,  and  receiving  the  Papal  benediction  for  her- 
self and  her  whole  family.^ 

The  Duke  of  Milan,  who  had  also  made  a  very 

^  Renier,  Italia^  p.  l6. 

2  Giordano,  op.  ciL,  and  D'Arco  in  Arch.  St.,  App,  ii. 
^  Fontana,  Rente  de  France,  p.  66. 
VOL.  II.  X 


favourable  impression  on  Charles  V.  and  greatly 
improved  his  position,  took  his  leave  at  the  same 
time  with  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Savoy ;  while 
the  Duke  of  Ferrara  hastened  to  Modena  to  receive 
the  Emperor  on  his  way  to  Mantua. 



Charles  V.  at  Maihtua — The  Marquis  Federico  created  Duke,  and 
betrothed  to  the  Infanta  Giulia  —  Capture  of  Florence  by 
Ferrante  Gonzaga — Isabella  goes  to  Venice — Titian  employed 
by  the  Duke  to  paint  a  Magdalen  for  Vittoria  Colonna — 
Death  of  Bonifazio,  Marquis  of  Monferrato  —  Federico  breaks 
off  his  contract  with  Donna  Giulia,  and  asks  for  the  hand 
of  Maria  di  Monferrato  —  Death  of  this  Princess — Federico 
asks  for  her  sister  Margherita's  hand — Goes  to  Casale  for  the 
wedding — Giulio  Romano  adds  new  rooms  to  the  Castello — 
Isabella  superintends  their  decoration,  and  receives  the  bride. 

On  the  Feast  of  the  Annunciation — the  25th  of 
March — the  Emperor  entered  Mantua  in  state.  He 
was  sumptuously  clad  in  gold  and  silver  brocade,  and 
wore  the  sword  and  cap  of  Empire  with  which  he 
had  been  invested  at  Bologna.  At  his  side  rode  the 
Papal  legates,  Cardinals  Cibo  and  IppoUto  dei  Medici, 
and  immediately  behind  was  the  Duke  of  FeiTara, 
who  had  escorted  him  on  his  journey  from  Modena. 
Federico  Gonzaga  rode  out  to  receive  his  illustrious 
guest  as  far  as  the  Porta  Pradella,  accompanied  by 
the  Marchese  del  Vasto,  who  had  been  at  Mantua 
for  some  days,  and  all  his  own  valiant  kinsmen. 
Fifty  noble  youths,  clad  in  white,  and  bearing  long 
silver  staves  in  their  hands,  carried  a  white  satin 
baldacchino  over  the  Emperor's  head  as  he  rode 
through  the  crowded  streets,  under  a  series  of 
triumphal    arches    designed    by    Giuho    Romano.^ 

1  M.  Sanuto,  liii.  80-108. 



The  utmost  ingenuity  had  been  expended  on  these 
decorations.  Each  arch  was  adorned  with  groups 
of  gods  and  goddesses,  and  inscribed  with  Greek 
and  Latin  verses.  Mars  and  Venus,  Mercury  and 
Pallas,  saluted  Caesar  in  the  words  of  Virgil  and  in 
the  name  of  Mantua.  On  the  Piazza  di  San  Pietro 
a  colossal  Victory  held  a  crown  of  laurel  over  the 
Emperor's  head.  The  procession  paused  at  the 
gates  of  the  Duomo,  and  Charles  entered  the 
church  to  receive  the  Bishop's  benediction,  after 
which  he  crossed  the  Piazza  to  the  Castello  gates, 
where  the  Marchesa  Isabella  was  waiting  at  the 
foot  of  the  grand  staircase  to  welcome  him  to  the 
ancestral  palace  of  the  Gonzagas.^ 

Here  Charles  spent  the  next  four  weeks,  enjoying 
a  brief  respite  from  public  business  and  State  func- 
tions. He  accompanied  the  Marquis  on  a  series  of 
hunting  parties,  which  had  been  planned  on  a 
splendid  scale.  On  Sunday  the  27th,  as  many  as 
5000  riders  joined  in  the  sport,  and  1000  guests 
were  entertained  at  a  banquet  at  Marmirolo,  that 
superb  palace  on  which  GiuHo  Romano  had  lavished 
all  the  treasures  of  his  luxuriant  fancy.  After 
dinner  the  Emperor  joined  in  a  game  of  palla,  and 
slew  a  wild  boar  with  his  own  hand  in  the  hunt 
that  followed.  But  the  same  day  His  Majesty 
nearly  met  with  a  serious  accident.  He  was  pur- 
suing a  wounded  stag,  when  his  horse  came  into 
violent  collision  with  that  of  the  young  Cardinal 
Ippolito.  Both  riders  were  thrown  to  the  ground, 
and  Ippolito  dei  Medici  received  a  severe  blow ; 
**  so  that,"  as  the  Venetian,  Marco  Antonio  Venier, 
wrote,  "one  stag,  in  seeking  to  avoid  death,  almost 

^  G.  Daino,  Cronaca,  in  Arch.  St.,  App.  ii.  p.  232. 


caused  the  death  of  an  Emperor  and  a  Cardinal." 
Fortunately,  no  serious  harm  was  done,  and 
Charles  V.  expressed  the  greatest  delight  with  his 
day's  sport.  During  the  next  fortnight  he  visited 
the  palaces  and  villas  of  the  Gonzagas,  and  en- 
joyed the  refined  luxury  and  high  culture  of  an 
Italian  court.  He  saw  the  treasures  of  Isabella's 
Grotta,  the  famous  armoury  in  the  Corte  Vecchia, 
the  triumphs  of  Mantegna  in  the  palace  of  S.  Sebas- 
tiano,  and  the  wonderful  frescoes  of  the  story  of 
Psyche,  which  Giulio  Romano  had  painted  in  Fede- 
rico's  new  Palazzo  del  T^.  But,  more  than  any  of 
these,  he  admired  the  portraits  and  Holy  Families 
painted  by  Titian,  the  great  Venetian  master,  who 
was  to  become  his  chosen  artist  in  days  to  come. 

It  was  a  proud  hour  in  Isabella's  life,  and  she 
did  the  honours  of  her  son's  house  and  entertained 
her  august  guest  with  all  her  wonted  grace.  But 
her  proudest  moment  was  on  the  8th  of  April, 
when,  after  signing  the  deed  creating  the  marquisate 
of  Mantua  into  a  duchy,  by  virtue  of  his  Imperial 
authority,  and  sealing  it  with  a  gold  seal,  the  Em- 
peror pubUcly  proclaimed  Federico  Duke  of  Mantua 
from  the  steps  of  S.  Pietro,  in  the  presence  of  a 
large  and  enthusiastic  assembly.^  On  the  same  spot, 
a  hundred  years  before,  another  Roman  emperor, 
Sigismund,  had  proclaimed  the  present  Duke's  an- 
cestor, Giovanni  Francesco,  first  Marquis  of  Mantua. 
Many,  indeed,  had  been  the  perils  and  troubles 
through  which  the  little  State  had  passed,  and 
great  was  the  glory  and  prosperity  to  which 
the  noble  house  of  Gonzaga  had  attained.  This, 
Isabella  felt,  was  the  crowning  triumph  of  her  long 
*  G.  Daino,  op.  ciL,  p.  232. 


life,  the  reward  of  her  unwearied  labours  and  pas- 
sionate devotion  to  her  family  and  country. 

On  the  following  morning,  the  betrothal  of  the  new 
Duke  of  Mantua  with  his  cousin,  the  Infanta  Giulia 
of  Aragon,  was  solemnised  in  the  presence  of  Caesar. 
The  Imperial  Chancellor,  Cardinal  Gattinara,  placed 
the  ring  on  the  bridegroom's  hand,  and  blessed 
another  ring,  which  the  Duke  of  Ferrara  was  charged 
to  deliver  to  the  princess.  Alfonso  took  leave  of 
the  Emperor  the  next  morning,  and  on  Holy  Thurs- 
day Charles  V.  retired  to  the  Convent  of  S.  Bene- 
detto, a  few  miles  out  of  the  town,  and  spent  the 
next  three  days  in  devout  exercises.  On  Tuesday 
in  Easter  week,  the  19th  of  April,  he  finally  left 
Mantua,  and  was  escorted  by  his  host  as  far  as 
Goito,  on  his  way  to  Trent.^  The  Imperial  visit 
had  passed  oiF  in  the  most  successful  manner,  and 
Isabella  could  look  back  with  complete  satisfaction 
on  these  splendid  and  memorable  days.  Fortunately 
she  did  not  know  that  these  events,  in  which  she 
saw  the  fulfilment  of  her  fondest  hopes,  were  in 
reality  downward  steps  in  the  history  of  Mantua 
and  of  Italy,  and  that  the  Spanish  rule  would  prove 
ere  long  the  ruin  of  all  that  made  life  good  and 
beautiful  in  her  eyes.  Four  months  after  Charles  V. 
left  Mantua,  the  city  of  Florence  surrendered  to 
Ferrante  Gonzaga,  who  had  succeeded  to  the  com- 
mand of  the  Imperial  armies  on  the  death  of  the 
Prince  of  Orange,  and  the  last  bulwark  of  Itahan 
independence  was  swept  away. 

In  May,  Isabella  went  to  Venice,  and  spent 
several  weeks  there,  enjoying  change  of  air  and  rest. 
After  all  the  expenses  of  the  fetes  at  Bologna  and 

^  M.  Sanuto,  liii.  154. 


Mantua,  the  Marchesa  found  herself  very  short  of 
money,  and  when,  in  June,  she  wished  to  make 
some  purchases  before  leaving  Venice,  she  was  com- 
pelled to  write  in  great  haste  to  her  treasurer,  Paolo 
Andreassi,  begging  him  to  send  her  100  ducats  on 
the  spot.  Here  she  saw  Titian,  who  was  engaged 
on  several  works  for  the  Duke,  and  went  to  Bologna 
at  his  request  in  July,  to  paint  the  portrait  of  a 
fair  lady  whose  bright  eyes  had  captivated  the 
Emperor's  secretary,  Covos.  On  the  19th  of  June 
Isabella  returned  to  Mantua,  and  soon  afterwards 
recei"Med  a  letter  from  the  painter,  expressing  his 
regret  that  he  had  been  unable  to  pay  her  a  fare- 
well visit  before  she  left  Venice,  and  saying  that 
he  had  almost  finished  the  little  "travelling"  pic- 
ture which  she  had  ordered.  At  the  same  time,  he 
begged  the  Marchesa  to  use  her  influence  with  the 
Duke  on  behalf  of  his  son  Pomponio,  for  whom 
he  was  anxious  to  obtain  the  benefice  of  Medola.^ 
This  request  was  readily  granted  by  Federico,  and 
the  promise  of  this  rich  benefice  proved  a  sensible 
consolation  in  the  loss  which  Titian  suffered  by  the 
sudden  death  of  his  wife  Cecilia.  "  Messer  Tiziano," 
wrote  the  Mantua  envoy,  Benedetto  Agnello,  on  the 
4th  of  October,  "  is  recovering  his  spirits,  and  hopes 
soon  to  come  to  Mantua."  Whether  he  visited 
Mantua  or  not  that  autumn,  he  certainly  executed 
several  commissions  for  the  Duke  during  the  winter. 
One  of  these,  in  which  Isabella  took  especial  in- 
terest, was  a  Magdalen,  which  Federico  intended  as  a 
gift  to  Vittoria  Colonna,  Marchesa  di  Pescara.  On  the 
11th  of  March,  the  Duke  wrote  the  following  letter 
to  this  accompUshed  lady,  for  whom  he  and  all  his 

1    Crowe  e  Cavalcaselle,  Titian,  i.  343. 


fiimily  entertained  so  true  a  regard :  "  I  hear  from 
Signer  Fabrizio  Maramaldo  that  you  desire  to  have  a 
beautiful  picture  of  S.  Maiy  Magdalen  by  the  hand  of 
an  excellent  painter.  I  sent  to  Venice  at  once,  and 
wrote  to  Titian,  who  is  perhaps  the  best  master  now 
living,  and  is  altogether  devoted  to  me,  begging  him 
earnestly  to  make  a  picture  of  this  saint,  as  beautiful 
and  tearful  as  possible,  and  to  let  me  have  it  directly."^ 
Titian,  in  his  anxiety  to  gratify  this  generous  patron, 
put  all  his  other  work  aside  to  begin  the  new  picture, 
which  was  already  well  advanced  by  the  22nd  of 
March,  and  seemed,  in  Agnello's  opinion,  to  be  a 
work  of  the  highest  excellence.  On  the  19th,  Isabella 
wrote  to  Agnello,  saying  how  glad  she  and  her  son 
were  to  hear  that  M.  Tiziano  had  begun  the  Magda- 
len, adding,  that  the  sooner  it  arrived,  the  better  they 
would  be  pleased.  Again,  on  the  8th  of  April,  she 
wrote  to  the  envoy :  "  We  hear  from  the  Castellano, 
Gian  Giacomo  Calandra,  that  the  picture  of  the 
Magdalen  which  Titian  is  painting  is  nearly  finished. 
We  are  delighted  to  hear  this,  and  beg  you  to  thank 
M.  Tiziano  for  the  pains  and  promptitude  with  which 
he  has  served  us,  although  we  know  that  he  could 
not  well  do  otherwise.  And  since  we  desire  to  have 
the  picture  immediately,  we  send  a  courier  to  Venice 
forthwith,  in  order  that  he  may  bring  it  back  with 
him.  Please  have  the  canvas  carefully  packed  and 
covered  up,  so  that  it  cannot  suffer  injury,  with  the 
lightest  material  you  can  find,  in  order  that  he  may 
caiTy  it  with  him ;  and  make  all  the  necessary 
arrangements  to  prevent  any  delay  at  the  custom- 
house, and  that  he  may  be  allowed  to  bring  it  free 

of  charge."^ 

^  Crowe  e  Cavalcaselle,  op.  cit.,  i.  App. 
2  Gaye,  Carteggioj  ii.  225. 


The  picture  was  ready,  but  had  to  be  kept  two 
days  longer  to  allow  the  varnish  to  dry.  On  the  14th 
of  April  it  was  finally  despatched  to  Mantua  with  a 
letter  from  the  painter,  saying  that  he  had  put  his 
whole  strength  into  the  work.  "  If  only  my  hand 
and  brush,"  he  adds,  "  had  agreed  with  the  greatness 
of  my  dream,  the  result  would  have  satisfied  me 
better ;  but  this,  alas  !  has  not  been  the  case  by  a 
long  way,  and  a  great  space  still  remains  between 
my  aspiration  and  my  achievement.  The  Magdalen 
herself  has  promised  to  beg  your  forgiveness  with 
hands  folded  on  her  breast."  ^ 

Both  the  Duke  and  his  mother  were,  however, 
dehghted  with  the  picture,  and  Federico  wrote  in 
glowing  terms  to  thank  the  painter. 

"  M.  Tiziano, — I  have  received  the  picture  of  the 
Magdalen,  which  you  have  painted  for  us,  and  which 
I  quite  expected  to  be  a  beautiful  thing,  knowing 
that  nothing  else  could  proceed  from  your  hand, 
because  of  your  excellence  in  painting,  and  all  the 
more,  because  you  were  doing  the  work  for  me,  whom 
I  know  you  like  to  please.  But  I  find  it  far  more 
perfect  and  beautiful  than  I  ever  expected,  and,  truly, 
of  all  the  pictures  which  I  have  ever  seen,  I  do  not 
remember  one  which  seems  to  me  more  beautiful. 
I  am  indeed  more  than  satisfied.  And  Madama  Illus- 
trissima,  my  mother,  says  the  same,  pronouncing  it 
to  be  a  most  admirable  work,  and  confessing  that  it 
is  equal  to  the  finest  pictures  of  the  kind  which  she  has 
seen  and  enjoyed.  And  these,  as  you  know,  are  very 
many.  Every  one  who  sees  it  says  the  same,  and  the 
best  judges  of  painting  praise  it  the  most.  Thus  I 
recognise  that  in  this   magnificent  work  you   have 

^  GayCj  op.  ciU,  ii.  226. 


tried  to  express  at  once  the  love  which  you  cherish 
for  me  and  your  own  rare  excellence.  These  two 
things  have  enabled  you  to  produce  this  incom- 
parable figure,  which  is  so  beautiful  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  desire  anything  finer.  I  cannot  say  how 
grateful  I  feel,  and  can  only  assure  you  that  I  shall 
never  forget  this  and  all  the  other  pleasure  which  you 
have  given  me,  and  shall  ever  remain  at  your  ser- 
vice." ^     Mantua,  April  19,  1531. 

The  Magdalen  was  forwarded,  without  delay,  to 
Vittoria  Colonna,  who  expressed  the  warmest  grati- 
tude for  the  priceless  gift,  and  sent  the  Duke  an 
exquisitely- wrought  casket  filled  with  rare  perfumes 
and  cosmetic  of  roses.  In  his  letter  of  thanks 
Federico  replied  that  he  would  not  fail  to  tell  Titian 
how  much  Vittoria  admired  his  picture,  since  this 
would  doubtless  incite  him  to  fresh  efforts,  and  if 
his  art  should  attain  a  new  perfection  in  the  future, 
it  would  be  her  doing.^  Isabella  and  all  her  children, 
more  especially  Leonora  and  Ercole,  were  deeply 
attached  to  Vittoria  Colonna ;  but,  in  this  instance, 
the  Duke  and  his  mother  had  a  further  motive  for 
their  anxiety  to  gratify  her.  It  was,  they  felt,  of 
the  utmost  importance  to  secure  the  goodwill  of  her 
nephew,  the  all-powerful  Alfonso  d'Avalos,  in  certain 
delicate  matters  regarding  Federico's  marriage. 

Before  the  Emperor  left  Mantua  the  betrothal  of 
Federico  with  the  Infanta  Giulia  had  been  formally 
announced.  Charles  V.  promised  the  bride  a  dowiy 
of  50,000  ducats,  and  the  marriage  contract  was 
drawn  up,  to  the  great  delight  of  the  widowed  Queen 
of  Naples.     In  the  weekly  letters  which  Isabella  re- 

^  Gaye,  op.  cit.,  p.  224. 

'  Luzio,  Eivista  Mantovana,  i.  3—8. 


ceived  from  Ferrara,  we  find  frequent  allusions  to  her 
future  daughter-in-law,  who  now  bore  the  title  of 
Duchess  of  Mantua.  The  novelist  Stabellino,  writing 
to  the  Marchesa  on  the  22nd  of  May,  describing  a 
fete  given  by  Renee  de  France  in  the  beautiful  hall 
of  the  Schifanoia  Palace,  remarks  :  "  The  Duchess 
danced  hand  in  hand  with  the  daughters  of  the  Queen 
of  Naples,  and  Don  Ercole  with  INIadame  de  Soubise's 
daughter.  Then  Don  Francesco  d'Este  led  out  the 
Infanta  GiuHa,  and  many  others  followed  dancing, 
and  talking  sweetly  of  love."  The  usual  minute 
particulars  of  the  princess's  dress  and  appearance 
follow.^  But  greatly  as  Isabella  desired  her  son's 
maiTiage,  she  does  not  appear  to  have  felt  much 
satisfaction  with  the  bride  whom  the  Emperor  had 
chosen.  The  Infanta  was  considerably  over  thirty 
years  of  age,  and  the  Marchesa  may  well  have  felt 
some  misgivings  with  regard  to  the  marriage, 
especially  while  the  Duke's  mistress,  Isabella  Bos- 
chetti,  still  retained  her  old  empire  over  him. 

Suddenly  an  unexpected  event  altered  the  whole 
aspect  of  affairs.  The  young  Marquis  of  Monferrato, 
who  had  so  lately  played  an  important  part  in  the 
imperial  Coronation,  was  killed  by  a  fall  from  his 
horse  when  he  was  out  hunting,  one  day  in  June. 
He  was  succeeded  by  his  uncle.  Bishop  Giovanni 
Giorgio,  an  elderly  and  infirm  prince,  who  was  in 
deacon's  orders.  Since  he  had  never  married,  and 
was  likely  to  remain  childless,  his  elder  niece,  Maria 
Paleologa,  the  very  princess  who  had  formerly  been 
affianced  to  Federico  Gonzaga,  now  became  iieiress 
to  the  rich  principality  of  Monferrato.  Both  Isabella 
d'Este  and  the  widowed  Marchesa  of  Monferrato  had 

1  Fontana,  Renee  de  France,  p.  144. 


always  wished  for  this  marriage,  and  now  the  Duke 
himself  was  equally  anxious  to  obtain  the  hand  of  the 
bride  whom  he  had  once  rejected.  He  lost  no  time 
in  renewing  his  suit,  and  sent  envoys  to  the  Emperor 
and  the  Pope  begging  to  be  released  from  his  en- 
gagement to  the  Infanta,  on  the  ground  of  a  previous 
contract,  and  the  scruples  which  he  felt  with  regard  to 
marriage  with  a  first  cousin.  A  conference  was  held 
at  Mantua,  in  which  the  chief  lawyers  and  ecclesiastics 
of  the  State  unanimously  gave  their  opinion  in  favour 
of  the  vaUdity  of  the  first  contract,  and  the  Duke's 
subjects  presented  him  with  a  petition,  begging  him 
to  repudiate  the  Infanta  and  marry  Maria  Paleologa, 
who,  being  younger,  would  be  more  likely  to  bear 
him  an  heir.  In  the  midst  of  these  negotiations  the 
poor  young  princess  Maria  died  after  a  few  days' 
illness  on  the  25th  of  September  1530.  The  Duke 
at  once  proclaimed  a  general  mourning  for  his  wife, 
and  promptly  asked  the  Marchesa  di  Monferrato  for 
the  hand  of  her  only  surviving  daughter,  Margherita. 
This  princess,  who  had  just  entered  her  twentieth 
year,  now  found  herself  courted  by  the  most  exalted 
personages.  The  Emperor  pressed  the  suit  of  the 
Count  Palatine,  the  King  of  France  tried  to  secure 
the  hand  of  the  heiress  for  his  second  son,  while  the 
Marchesa  di  Monferrato  herself  was  anxious  to  marry 
her  daughter  to  the  Duke  of  Milan.  But  as  usual 
the  Gonzagas  triumphed,  and  Isabella  had  her  way. 
The  Pope  was  induced  to  annul  the  contract  with 
the  Infanta  in  March  1531,  and  although  Charles  V. 
still  tried  to  persuade  Federico  to  fulfil  his  pledges 
and  take  Giulia  of  Aragon  for  his  bride,  he  at  length 
recognised  further  opposition  to  be  useless,  and  gave 
his  consent  to  the  Duke's  marriage  with  Margherita 


Paleologa.  On  the  26th  of  July  the  contract  was 
finally  signed  at  Casale,  and  congratulations  flowed  in 
from  all  sides. 

Bernardo  Tasso  composed  an  Epithalamium  in 
honour  of  the  happy  event,  Vittoria  Colonna  sent 
the  most  cordial  good  wishes,  with  two  of  her  latest 
sonnets  from  the  island  of  Ischia,  and  Paolo  Giovio 
wrote  from  Rome  that  this  illustrious  lady  was  so 
genuinely  attached  to  the  Duke,  that  she  could  not 
wish  her  own  Marchese  del  Vasto  greater  joy  and 
good  fortune.^ 

Titian  received  a  letter  from  Federico  himself 
informing  him  of  his  marriage,  and  wrote  on  the 
31st  of  July,  to  congratulate  his  noble  patron  in  the 
warmest  terms  :  "  My  dear  Lord, — I  cannot  express, 
either  by  words  or  writing,  how  great  was  my 
delight  on  receiving  the  letter  which  you  were  so 
kind  and  gracious  as  to  send  me,  and  which  con- 
firmed and  explained  what  I  had  already  heard  of 
Your  Excellency's  most  happy  marriage.  This  news 
has  filled  me  with  the  most  unbounded  joy,  so  that 
I  can  hardly  contain  myself.  And  I  pray  that 
our  Lord  God  may  keep  you,  and  give  you  all 
prosperity,  and  fulfil  all  your  desires  for  infinite 
years  to  come."^  The  Duke  in  his  letter  informed 
Titian  that  the  benefice  of  Medola  and  its  revenues 
had  been  formally  granted  to  his  son,  a  fact  which 
added  not  a  little  to  the  painter's  satisfaction. 

This  time  Federico  was  determined  that  no 
unnecessary  delay  should  hinder  his  marriage,  and 
he  prevailed  on  the  Marchesa  di  Monferrato  to 
allow  the  wedding  to  take  place  early  in  October. 

^  Luzio  in  Rivista  Mantovana,  i.  3-8. 
2  Crowe  e  Cavalcaselle,  Titian,  i.  App. 

334  THE   DUKE   AT   CASALE 

Early  in  the  last  week  of  September,  he  set  out 
from  Mantua,  with  a  brilliant  suite,  which  included 
his  kinsmen,  the  ambassador  Francesco  Gonzaga, 
I'Abate  Lodovico,  and  his  younger  son,  Gianfraneesco 
Cagnino,  the  Count  of  Caiazzo,  who  had  married  a 
daughter  of  Pirro  Gonzaga,  and  his  favourite,  Count 
Nicola  MafFei,  as  well  as  the  papal  legate  and  im- 
perial ambassador.  The  party  travelled  by  road 
to  Pa  via,  where  they  spent  Sunday  night  in  the 
bishop's  palace,  and  were  met  by  two  envoys  from 
Casale.  On  ]\Ionday  morning,  after  hearing  mass, 
the  Duke  went  out  on  a  hunting  expedition  with 
Count  Maximihan  Stampa,  and  spent  the  night 
at  Vigevano  with  his  cousin,  the  Duke  of  Milan. 
"This  illustrious  Duke,"  wrote  the  secretary  who 
sent  Isabella  a  full  account  of  her  son's  wedding 
journey,  "rode  out  with  all  his  court  to  meet  our 
Signor,  and  received  him  in  the  most  kind  and 
honourable  manner.  Indeed,  as  long  as  we  were 
in  the  dominions  of  the  Lord  Duke,  we  were  ex- 
ceedingly well  treated,  and  could  not  have  been 
more  royally  entertained."^  Francesco  now  an- 
nounced his  intention  of  accompanying  his  cousin 
to  Casale  for  the  wedding,  and  on  Tuesday,  after 
another  hunting  expedition,  the  two  princes,  ac- 
companied by  the  redoubtable  Antonio  de  Leyva 
and  twenty-five  Milanese  nobles,  reached  Casale. 
The  old  Marquis  of  Monferrato  received  the  bride- 
groom outside  the  city  gates,  and  Federico  entered 
the  tovim  on  horseback  between  his  host  and  the 
Duke  of  Milan,  attended  by  an  escort  of  a  thousand 
men.  As  soon  as  he  reached  the  CasteUo,  he  was 
conducted  into  the  presence  of  the  Marchesa,  who 

^  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  Iv.  38. 


was  ill  in  bed.  "  And  so  great  was  the  crowd," 
writes  the  Mantuan  secretary,  "at  the  doors  of  her 
bedroom,  that  I,  who  had  gone  in  with  my  Signor, 
found  it  quite  impossible  to  get  out  again."  A 
magnificent  suite  of  apartments,  the  first  hung 
with  gold  brocade  and  green  velvet,  the  second 
with  silver  brocade,  tan-coloured  velvet  and  tur- 
quoise satin,  and  the  third  with  gold  and  silver 
brocade,  had  been  prepared  for  the  Duke  of 
Mantua,  close  to  the  Princess  Margherita's  rooms. 
Federico,  however,  insisted  that  his  cousin,  the 
Duke  of  JNIilan,  must  occupy  these  apartments, 
and  the  door  which  led  into  the  bride's  chamber 
was  hastily  sealed  up.  But  Francesco,  not  to  be 
outdone  in  courtesy,  quite  refused  to  occupy  the 
bridegroom's  rooms,  declaring  that  he  had  come  to 
the  wedding  uninvited,  simply  out  of  affection  for 
his  cousin. 

The  wedding  took  place  that  same  evening  in 
the  Marchesa's  bedroom.  Antonio  de  Leyva  was 
carried  in  by  his  servants,  and  quickly  followed 
by  the  bridegroom,  who  had  changed  his  riding 
boots  and  dusty  travelling  dress  for  a  splendid  suit 
of  gold  brocade.  Federico  was  supported  by  the 
Duke  of  Milan  and  attended  by  as  many  of  the 
nobles  and  courtiers  as  the  little  room  could  hold. 
As  soon  as  the  Marchesa  saw  him  she  held  out  her 
arms,  and  with  tears  in  her  eyes  embraced  him. 
*'  Your  Excellency,"  wrote  Isabella's  correspondent, 
"  may  imagine  how  tenderly  she  kissed  him."  Then 
the  bride  entered,  clad  in  white  satin  embroidered 
with  silver,  with  a  high  collar  and  sleeves  sown  with 
pearls,  a  jewelled  girdle  round  her  waist,  and  a  white 
satin  cap  studded  with  diamonds.     The  Bishop  of 


Vercelli  spoke  a  few  words,  and  the  noise  was  so 
great  that  only  those  who  stood  near  him  could 
hear  a  word.  "  So  my  lord  wedded  lier  with  great 
rejoicing,  and  when  every  one  had  done  kissing  the 
Lady  Duchess's  hand,  we  all  went  to  supper.  After 
this  Madama  herself  left  her  bed  to  accompany 
the  bridal  pair  to  their  rooms,  and  gave  them  her 
blessing  with  such  loving  words  that  all  who  heard 
her  wept  for  gladness.  God  grant  that  they  may 
both  enjoy  the  happiness  which  we  hope  and  de- 
sire for  them,  since  the  bride  is  beautiful,  gracious, 
kind,  wise,  and  virtuous,  and  I  am  quite  certain  that 
Your  Excellency  will  be  delighted  with  her.  This 
morning  the  Magnifico  Francesco  Gonzaga  took 
the  bride  my  lord's  gift  of  jewels  .  .  .  and  to-day 
there  is  a  festa  in  the  Castello,  and  all  the  ladies 
of  Casale  are  coming.  As  soon  as  he  was  dressed 
this  morning,  my  lord  went  to  see  Madama  illus- 
trissima,  and  again  after  dinner  and  before  supper, 
and  they  are  all  very  gay.  And  I  only  regret," 
adds  the  secretary,  "that  I  cannot  better  tell  Your 
Excellency  the  things  of  which  it  is  my  duty  to 
inform  you."  ^ 

Meanwhile  Isabella  once  more  administered  the 
State  in  her  son's  absence,  and  superintended 
the  final  preparations  for  his  bride's  reception. 
Throughout  the  summer  Giulio  Romano  and  a  host 
of  builders,  artists,  and  decorators  had  been  working 
at  the  Castello,  where  the  Duke  had  decided  to 
take  up  his  abode.  A  new  suite  of  rooms,  known 
as  the  Palazzina,  was  built  for  the  use  of  the 
Duchess,  to  the  right  of  the  drawbridge  leading  to 
the  Ponte  S.  Giorgio.    These  apartments  were  con- 

^  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit.,  p.  41. 


nected  with  Isabella's  old  rooms  near  the  Camera 
degli  Sposi  by  a  comdor,  and  the  roof  was  adorned 
with  a  terraced  garden  and  open  loggia  overlooking 
the  lake.  On  the  7th  of  October,  Ippolito  Calandra 
wrote  to  tell  the  Duke  of  a  visit  which  his  mother 
had  paid  to  the  new  building,  and  of  the  great 
satisfaction  which  she  had  expressed.  "Yesterday 
Madama  illustrissima  came  to  the  Castello,  and 
wished  to  see  everything.  She  was  much  pleased, 
and  went  out  on  the  new  terrace,  which  dehghted 
her  as  much  as  possible,  and  stayed  there  for  more 
than  an  hour,  expressing  the  greatest  admiration 
for  the  magnificent  view.  '  If  in  my  time,'  she 
exclaimed,  '  there  had  ever  been  such  a  fine  terrace, 
I  should  never  have  complained  of  having  had 
to  live  in  the  Castello  I '  Her  Excellency  visited 
the  garden  and  loggietta,  which  she  praised  greatly 
as  a  thing  excellently  contrived  and  admirably  de- 
signed. She  then  wished  to  go  down  into  the 
rooms,  but  had  not  courage  to  descend  by  the 
wooden  steps,  although  a  railing  had  been  put  up 
for  protection,  so  Isabella  and  Madonna  Paola  went 
down  with  the  maidens,  and  Isabella  afterwards  told 
Madama  exactly  how  the  rooms  were  aiTanged.  All 
this  pleased  her  exceedingly,  and  she  said  that  Your 
Excellency  could  not  have  made  a  better  or  more 
convenient  addition  to  the  Castello."  A  few  days 
afterwards,  Ippolito  wrote  to  tell  the  Duke  that 
the  Marchesa  had  visited  the  new  rooms  again,  to 
arrange  the  hangings  and  furniture,  and  had  in- 
spected the  rooms  prepared  for  the  Duchess's  ladies, 
and  the  new  court  looking  over  the  bridge.  *'  Once 
more  she  expressed  the  greatest  satisfaction,  and 
laughed  as  she  said  to  me ;  '  Ah  !  Ippolito,  if  in  my 

VOL.  II.  Y 


time  I  and  my  ladies  had  ever  enjoyed  such  lodgings 
as  these,  we  should  indeed  have  thought  ourselves 
fortunate  I '" ' 

On  receiving  his  mother's  report,  Federico  wrote 
from  Casale,  saying  that  a  covered  passage  must  be 
made  from  the  old  Studio  to  the  new  rooms,  as  he 
objected  to  the  wooden  staircase,  and  further  ordered 
a  stone  flight  of  steps  to  be  constructed  leading  up 
to  the  terrace  and  hanging  gardens  on  the  roof.  By 
Giulio  Romano's  advice,  the  walls  of  the  new  rooms 
were  not  painted,  but  only  enamelled  in  white  and 
adorned  with  pictures,  while  the  doors  and  mantel- 
pieces were  hung  with  Spanish  leather.  *'  By  this 
means,"  wrote  the  master,  "  the  rooms  will  be  ready 
when  Your  Excellency  arrives,  and  Her  Highness 
the  Duchess  can  enjoy  them  this  winter,  because  they 
really  look  very  well,  and  when  the  fine  season  comes 
they  can  be  painted."^  Messer  Giulio  and  Isabella 
devoted  great  pains  to  the  choice  of  the  pictures  with 
which  the  new  rooms  were  to  be  hung.  On  the  14th, 
Giulio  wrote  that  the  windows  were  all  filled  with 
glass  and  the  paintings  hung  on  the  walls  in  fine 
gilded  frames.  A  fortnight  later,  Ippolito  Calandra 
sent  his  lord  a  list  of  the  masterpieces  which  had 
been  selected,  with  Madama's  help,  to  adorn  the 
new  hall  or  Camera  delle  Arme,  as  it  was  called 
from  the  armorial  bearings  of  Francesco  and  Isa- 
bella, and  of  Federico  and  his  wife,  which  were 
painted  on  the  walls. 

"  The  pictures  in  this  hall,"  writes  the  chamberlain 
in  a  memorable  passage,^  "  are  Messer  Giulio 's  portrait 

1  S.  Davari,  Arch.  St.  Lomh.,  1895. 

2  Gaye,  Carteggio,  ii.  228. 

2  Pungileoni,  Elogio  di  Raffaelle,  p.  182  ;  Luzio,  Arch.  d.  Arte, 
L  181. 


of  Your  Excellency,  that  of  Pope  Leo  by  Raphael, 
which  was  given  you  by  His  Holiness  Clement 
VII,,  the  portrait  of  Your  Excellency  by  Messer 
Tiziano,  and  the  one  which  Raphael  of  Urbino 
painted  in  Rome  of  Your  Excellency,  as  weU  as 
that  picture,  which  was  given  you  by  a  Venetian,  of 
a  Lady  and  her  child,  and  was  so  much  praised  by 
Messer  Giulio,  and  the  splendid  St.  Jerome  in  oils 
that  was  painted  in  Flanders  and  bought  by  Your 
Excellency.  All  the  pictures  are  in  gilded  frames 
and  look  very  beautiful.  In  the  Camerino  of  the 
Duchess  we  might  perhaps  have  six  pictures — Man- 
tegna's  Crista  in  Scurto,  Messer  Tiziano's  St.  Jerome, 
M.  Giulio's  Santo  Caterina,  and  the  Leonardo  da 
'  Vinci  that  was  given  you  by  Conte  Nicola.  These 
would  make  a  fine  show  in  the  room." 

These  few  lines  have  been  frequently  quoted,  and 
throw  considerable  light  on  the  famous  pictures  that 
were  in  the  Gonzaga  collection  during  Isabella's  life- 
time. The  portrait  of  Pope  Leo  X.  and  his  two 
Cardinals  had,  as  we  have  already  said,  been  pre- 
sented to  Federico  Gonzaga  by  Pope  Clement  VII. 
in  1525,  and  was  not  the  original  by  Raphael,  but  a 
copy  by  Andrea  del  Sarto.^  The  portrait  of  Federico 
in  armour,  by  Titian,  was  the  noble  work  which  the 
Venetian  master  had  painted  in  the  spring  of  1530, 
and  which  excited  the  admiration  of  Charles  V. 
more  than  any  other  picture  that  he  saw  at 
Mantua.  Unfortunately  this  portrait,  which,  in 
Vasari's  words,  "  seemed  the  life  itself,"  ^  and 
which  was  valued  at  150  ducats  in  the  inventory 
of  1627,  disappeared  in  the  sack  of  Mantua,  and 
was  not  among  the  works  of  art  sold  to  Charles  I. 

1  Vol.  ii.  254.  2  Yite^  Scc,  v.  42. 


Next  to  this  masterpiece,  Calandra  mentions  the 
precious  little  portrait  of  Federico  as  a  boy,  painted 
by  Raphael  in  Rome,  which,  as  we  have  already  seen, 
had  been  recovered  by  Castiglione  a  few  years  be- 
fore.^ The  St.  Jerome  by  Titian  was  sent  to  the 
Duke  from  Venice  in  March  1531  ;  while  of  the 
Leonardo  given  him  by  Count  Nicola  MafFei  we  have 
no  certain  knowledge,  and  can  only  suppose  it  to  be 
the  drawing  of  "  a  Woman's  Head,  with  dishevelled 
hair "  (scapigliata),  which  is  the  only  work  by  this 
master's  hand  mentioned  in  the  inventory  of  1627. 
Lastly,  in  the  portrait  of  the  Lady  and  her  child,  by  an 
unknown  Venetian  artist,  which  won  Giulio  Romano's 
praise,  we  may  recognise  a  picture  which  has  been 
sometimes  supposed  to  represent  Isabella  d'Este  her- 
self and  her  son,  chiefly  because  the  lady  wears  the 
turban-shaped  head-dress  which  the  Marchesa  had 
introduced,  and  which  had  become  fashionable  both 
in  Milan  and  Venice.  One  example  of  this  portrait 
is  in  the  Gallery  of  the  Hermitage.  Another  is  in 
M.  Ludwig  Mond's  collection  in  London,  while  other 
replicas  are  to  be  found  in  Italian  galleries.  The 
work  is  certainly  of  Venetian  origin,  but  has  no  claim 
to  represent  the  Marchesa,  although  the  original  hung 
for  many  years  in  the  ducal  palace  at  Mantua. 

The  preparations  for  the  bride's  entry  were  another 
subject  which  occupied  both  Isabella  and  Messer 
Giulio's  thoughts.  Federico  had  given  orders  that 
the  decorations  and  festivities  should  be  planned  on 
a  lavish  scale,  and  a  voluntary  tax  to  defray  these 
expenses  was  levied  under  the  name  of  the  Duke's 
wedding-gift.  This,  however,  excited  a  good  deal 
of  grumbling  among  his  loyal  subjects,  and  Castig- 

1  Vol.  ii.  i6i. 


Hone's  mother,  Luigia  Gonzaga,  was  one  of  those 
who  excused  themselves  from  payment.  Isabella,  as 
usual,  entered  keenly  into  the  discussion  of  every 
detail.  "  Madama,"  wrote  Giulio  Romano  to  the 
Duke,  "  is  of  opinion  that  a  spacious  covered  bridge 
should  be  erected  from  the  Ponte  S.  Giorgio  to  the 
Castello."  He,  on  his  part,  proposed  that  a  per- 
manent flight  of  steps  should  be  erected,  leading  from 
the  shores  of  the  lake,  where  the  bride  was  to  land,  to 
a  portico  where  JNIadama  and  her  ladies  would  receive 
her.  The  walls  of  this  portico  might  be  painted 
white,  and  hung  with  festoons  of  verdure  and  blue 
draperies,  with  some  embroideries,  so  as  to  look  well 
for  the  day,  without  entailing  any  great  expense,  and 
a  triumphal  arch,  as  finely  panelled  and  painted  as 
those  lately  erected  in  honour  of  the  Emperor's  visit, 
might  be  raised  on  the  side  facing  the  Castello. 
"  Here,"  he  writes,  "  there  would  be  plenty  of  room 
for  Madama  and  all  the  gentle  ladies  of  Mantua,  and 
if  it  rains,  or  thunders  and  lightens,  they  would  be 
under  shelter,  and  there  could  be  large  and  fine 
windows  looking  out  on  the  lake,  so  that  they  might 
be  able  to  see  the  arrival  of  the  much-desired  sails. 
Here  all  the  chariots  can  be  in  waiting,  and,  im- 
mediately after  the  bride's  reception,  the  ladies  can 
drive  without  delay  across  the  Piazza  to  the  Duomo."^ 
But  before  this  plan  could  be  carried  out,  a  terrible 
inundation,  such  as  had  not  been  known  for  many 
years  in  Lombardy,  suspended  all  festive  prepara- 
tions and  created  a  general  panic.  A  week  of  heavy 
rains  set  in  at  the  close  of  October.  The  Po,  which 
was  unusually  low  for  the  time  of  year,  suddenly 
rose   several   feet   and  flooded    the   whole    country 

1  Gaye,  op.  cit.,  ii.  233-242. 


between  Governolo  and  Mantua.  The  Mincio  and 
the  Oglio  broke  their  bounds ;  Sacchetta  and  Borgo- 
forte  were  submerged,  and  many  villages  and  houses 
were  destroyed.  The  injury  to  property  was  immense, 
and  Mantua  itself  was  in  great  peril  for  some  days. 
"  And  still  the  rain  continues,"  wrote  Benedetto 
Agnello  to  the  Doge  of  Venice,  "  and  still  bad  news 
comes  in  from  all  sides.  The  upper  course  of  all  the 
rivers,  we  hear,  is  swollen,  and  not  only  have  several 
towns  been  flooded,  but  many  buildings  have  been 
destroyed,  which  makes  me  think  that  God  in  his 
anger  has  allowed  this  to  happen  for  the  chastisement 
of  our  sins."  In  this  emergency  Isabella  showed  her 
usual  courage  and  presence  of  mind.  She  summoned 
the  chief  officials,  appointed  special  commissioners, 
and  gave  the  necessary  orders  for  the  repair  of 
the  dykes  and  the  preservation  of  the  city. 
'■^ Madama  illustrissima"  wrote  Agnello,  "as  Your 
Sublimity  can  imagine,  has  been  in  the  greatest 
distress  in  the  world,  at  the  sight  of  the  ter- 
rible calamity  which  has  so  suddenly  befallen  her 
state.  More  than  all,  she  is  grieved  to  hear  of  the 
damage  which  you  and  the  gentlemen  of  Venice 
have  suffered  by  the  bursting  of  the  dykes  of  the 
Po  at  Sacchetta,  and  has  taken  every  possible  pre- 
caution to  prevent  the  extension  of  the  mischief. 
An  infinite  number  of  men  are  working  day  and 
night  to  repair  the  dykes  at  this  point,  and  if  it  is 
in  mortal  power  to  prevent  further  harm,  Your  Sub- 
limity may  be  certain  that  it  wiU  be  done.  But 
God  and  Fate  have  wiUed  this,  and  it  is  not  in  our 
hands  to  resist  them."  ^ 

By  degrees  the  floods  abated,  and  the  damage 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  Iv.  110,  111. 

ENTRY   OF   THE    BRIDE  343 

was  as  far  as  possible  repaired.  But  the  entry  of  the 
Duke  and  his  bride  was  put  off,  and  did  not  take 
place  until  the  16th  of  November.  The  Duchess 
had  been  seriously  unwell,  and  the  ceremony  of 
her  reception  was  considerably  curtailed  in  con- 
sequence.^ The  Duke  of  Milan,  who  had  been 
invited  to  assist  at  the  festivities,  remained  at 
Vigevano,  and  Isabella  alone,  surrounded  by  her 
faithful  subjects,  welcomed  Federico's  bride  to  the 
splendid  home  where  her  coming  had  been  long  and 
anxiously  expected. 

1   M.  Sanuto,  Ivi.  158. 



Isabella  at  Venice — Death  of  Margherita  Cantelraa — Marriage  of 
Ferrante  Gonzaga — Duchess  Margherita  Paleologa — Ariosto 
and  Bernardo  Tasso  send  the  Marchesa  their  poems — Visit  of 
the  Emperor  Charles  V.  to  Mantua — Marriage  and  death  of 
the  Marquis  of  Monferrato — His  State  annexed  to  Mantua — 
Birth  of  a  son  to  Duke  Federico — Titian  paints  Isabella's 
portrait  from  the  original  by  Francia. 

The  marriage  of  her  eldest  son  was  the  last  occasion 
on  which  Isabella  took  any  active  part  in  public 
affairs.  Her  vigorous  frame  began  to  show  signs 
of  decay,  and  she  became  slowly  conscious  of 
advancing  age.  In  August  1531,  she  made  her  will,^ 
and  in  the  following  spring,  besides  taking  her  usual 
trip  to  Venice,  visited  the  baths  of  Albano  for  the  good 
of  her  health.  On  the  22nd  of  May,  the  Marchesa 
lost  one  of  her  oldest  friends,  Margherita,  the  widow 
of  Sigismondo  Cantelmo,  Duke  of  Sora,  who  had 
spent  the  last  years  of  her  life  at  Mantua.  This 
lady  bequeathed  a  considerable  fortune  to  Isabella, 
begging  her  to  found  a  convent  of  canonesses 
for  the  help  of  poor  ladies  of  rank,  and  to  erect  a 
monument  in  memory  of  Sigismondo  and  his  sons  in 
the  church  of  S.  Maria  della  Presentazione.^  Both 
of  Margherita's  last  wishes  were  faithfully  carried 
out,  and  the  imposing  tomb  of  the  Cantelmi,  which 

1  Luzio  e  Renier,  Mantova,  p.  282. 
*  D'Arco,  Notizie  d' Isabella,  p.  221. 



was  executed  from  Giulio  Romano's  designs  in  1534, 
is  still  preserved  in  a  chapel  of  S.  Andrea.  These 
two  objects  naturally  absorbed  the  greater  part  of 
the  fortune  which  Isabella  inherited  from  her  dead 
friend,  and  she  was  justly  annoyed  when  her  son 
Ferrante  wrote  to  beg  for  an  advance  of  money, 
on  the  strength  of  this  large  legacy.  "  If  I  did 
not  see,"  she  replied,  "that  you  evidently  share 
the  popular  fallacy  that  Signora  Cantelma's  bequest 
has  greatly  enriched  me,  I  should  be  extremely 
surprised  at  your  boldness  in  daring  to  ask  me 
for  3000  ducats.  You  know  that  it  has  never 
been  my  habit  to  hoard  money,  although  certainly, 
if  report  spoke  true,  I  should  have  no  difficulty  in 
satisfying  you  I "  ^  Ferrante  had  always  been  the 
most  extravagant  of  Isabella's  sons,  and  the  most 
unscrupulous  in  his  demands  upon  his  mother's 
purse.  But,  he  had  lately  married  the  wealthy 
heiress  Isabella  of  Capua  and  had  bought  the  prin- 
cipality of  Guastalla,  to  the  south  of  Mantua,  from 
the  Torelli  family,  so  that  Isabella  felt  justified  in 
resisting  his  importunities  on  this  occasion. 

Both  her  sons'  marriages,  however,  turned  out 
happily,  and  Isabella  became  fondly  attached  to 
her  daughter-in-law,  Margherita  Paleologa.  This 
gentle  and  virtuous  princess,  without  possessing  any 
lemarkable  talents  or  making  herself  in  any  way  con- 
spicuous, soon  won  the  love  of  her  husband  and  sub- 
jects. In  the  fii'st  years  of  her  married  life  the  young 
Duchess  suffered  from  the  insolence  and  hatred  of 
Isabella  Boschetti,  who  still  retained,  in  a  measure,  her 
hold  upon  Federico.  But  before  long  this  old  intrigue 
ended  in  a  tragic  manner.    It  was  reported  in  JNIantua 

*  Luzio  in  Nuova  Antologia,  1896. 


that  the  Duke's  mother-in-law,  the  Marchesa  Anna, 
indignant  at  t\c  slights  which  her  daughter  received, 
had  tried  to  poison  Federico's  mistress.  Upon  this, 
her  husband,  Francesco  Gonzaga,  entered  into  a 
conspiracy  against  the  Duke,  and  was  betrayed  and 
put  to  death  at  Ferrara.^ 

In  the  autumn  of  1531,  the  Marchesa  went  back 
to  Venice,  and  while  she  was  staying  there  her  old 
friend  Ariosto  sent  her  a  copy  of  the  third  edition  of 
his  Orlando  Furioso.  When  her  son  Ferrante  was 
born,  in  1507,  the  poet  had  read  her  some  cantos  from 
his  unpublished  poem,  and  when  the  epic  was  first 
printed,  in  1516,  he  came  to  Mantua  in  person  and 
offered  her  the  fu'st  copy.  Now  he  gave  her  this  new 
edition,  containing  the  famous  passage  in  honour  of 
the  house  of  Este,  and  the  following  lines  in  her 
praise : — 

"  D'opere  illustre  e  di  bei  studi  arnica 
Ch'io  non  so  ben  se  piii  leggiadra  e  bella. 
Mi  debba  dire,  o  pii  saggia  e  pudica, 
Liberale  e  magnanima  Isabella. 

Per  I'avvenir  vo  che  ciascuna  ch'aggia, 
II  nome  tuo,  sia  di  sublime  ingegno 
E  sia  bella,  gentil,  cortese  e  saggia, 
E  di  vera  onestade  arrivi  al  segno ; 
Onde  materia  agli  scrittori  caggia 
Di  celebrare  il  nome  inclito  e  degno, 
Taleh^  Parnaso,  Pindo  et  Elicone, 
Sempre  Isabella,  Isabella  risuona."  ^ 

The  Marchesa  replied  on  the  15th  of  October 
m  the  following  cordial  terms :  "  Your  book  of 
Orlando  Furioso,  which  you  have  sent  me,  is  most 
welcome  in  all  respects,  and  most  of  all,  since,  as  you 

1  G.  B.  Intra  in  Arch.  St.  Lomh.,  1887. 

2  Cantos  xlii.,  xiii.  59  and  xxix.  26. 


tell  me,  you  have  newly  revised  and  enlarged  it.  I 
shall  no  doubt  find  new  pleasure  and  delight  in 
reading  the  poem.  I  thank  you,  more  than  I  can 
express,  for  your  kind  allusions  to  me,  and  you  may 
be  quite  sure  that  I  shall  always  be  ready  to  serve 
you,  whenever  an  occasion  presents  itself,  because 
of  the  great  affection  and  admiration  which  I  have 
always  felt  for  your  rare  talents,  which  are  indeed 
deserving  of  the  highest  favour.  So,  from  my  heart, 
I  place  myself  wholly  at  your  disposal."  ^ 

Isabella  was  as  good  as  her  word,  and  when,  a 
fortnight  later,  Charles  V.  again  visited  Mantua, 
Ariosto  was  invited  to  meet  him,  and  presented  His 
Cassarean  Majesty  with  a  copy  of  his  Orlando.  Seven 
months  later,  the  great  poet  died,  on  the  6th  of  July 
1533,  and  Girolamo  da  Sestola  informed  the  Marchesa 
of  his  death.  "Yesterday,  at  seven  o'clock  in  the 
evening,  our  Messer  Lodovico  Ariosto  died.  He  is 
certainly  a  very  great  loss.  May  God  receive  him  I "  ^ 
Isabella  replied  a  week  later  in  a  warm  letter,  full  of 
regret  and  affection.  "  All  Ferrara,"  she  writes, 
"  must  weep  for  him,  since  we  have  lost  in  him  not 
only  a  gentleman  who  was  full  of  goodness,  but  one 
whose  rare  and  excellent  talents  made  him  the  greatest 
ornament  of  our  country." 

Another  old  friend,  Bernardo  Tasso,  the  author 
of  the  Amadigi,  sent  Isabella  a  copy  of  his  poems, 
entitled  II  Libro  degli  Amori,  on  the  5th  of  Decem- 
ber 1531,  with  the  following  graceful  epistle :  "  I 
should  care  little  for  the  small  praise  or  blame  these 
verses  may  bring  me,  were  they  not  submitted  to  the 
judgment  of  Your  Excellency,  which   is  perfect  in 

1  D'Arco,  op.  cit.,  p.  324. 

8  Luzio  in  Giom.  St.  d.  Lett,  I9OO. 


these  matters,  as  in  many  other  honourable  things. 
If  they  are  fortunate  enough  to  deserve  your  praise, 
they  will  be  far  more  dear  and  precious  to  me  than 
they  now  are.  I  beg  Your  Excellency  to  accept 
them,  and,  when  you  have  a  spare  hour,  take  them 
up  in  your  hand,  and,  as  you  read  my  poor  verses, 
gently  excuse  my  follies,  remembering  that  from 
childhood  I  have  been  Your  Excellency's  servant, 
and  shall  ever  remain  so,  as  my  actions  will  bear 
witness,  if  a  little  more  time  on  earth  is  allowed  me. 
And  so  I  commend  myself  humbly  to  Your  Excel- 
lency, praying  that  you  may  enjoy  a  long  and  happy 

Isabella,  who  had  become  intimate  with  Tasso  on 
her  frequent  visits  to  Ferrara,  greatly  appreciated  this 
attentions,  as  the  following  letter  shows : — 

"Dearest  Friend, — I  have  received  and  ah-eady 
read  the  greater  part  of  your  love-songs  in  the  vulgar 
tongue,  which  you  kindly  sent  me,  and  I  think  them 
so  well  chosen  and  gracefully  expressed  that  their 
elegance  not  only  demands  my  praise,  but  compels 
me  to  thank  you  for  the  pleasure  and  delight  which 
your  noble  present  has  afforded  me.  I  send  you  infinite 
thanks,  and  repeat  that  nothing  could  have  given  me 
more  pleasure  or  filled  me  with  greater  desire  to  help 
you.  I  only  await  an  occasion  of  showing  you  how 
warm  is  the  love  I  bear  you,  and  place  myself  at  your 
disposal  with  my  whole  heart." 

Bernardo  was  afterwards  appointed  Governor  of 
Ostiglia  by  Isabella's  grandson,  Duke  Guglielmo,  in 
1563,  and  died  at  Mantua  six  years  later  in  the  arms 
of  his  greater  son,  Torquato  Tasso. ^ 

In  November  1532,  Charles  V.  once  more  crossed 

^  D'Arco,  op.  cit.,  p.  323.  ^  Luzio,  op.  cit. 


the  Alps,  and  entered  Mantua  on  the  7th,  bringing 
with  him  a  great  train  of  Burgundian  guards,  bag- 
gage, horses,  and  sporting  dogs.  His  pleasant  and 
affable  manners  made  a  great  impression  on  the 
Venetian  envoys.  He  went  out  hunting  or  rode 
out  every  day  incognito  with  the  Duke,  and  walked 
about  the  town,  unattended  by  his  guards  and  fre- 
quently unrecognised.  Often  people  were  puzzled  how 
to  distinguish  him  from  Alfonso  d'Avalos,  who  was 
generally  at  his  side  and  wore  the  same  Spanish  suit 
of  black  velvet  embroidered  with  gold,  until  Charles, 
hearing  them  ask,  "  Which  is  he  ? "  would  raise  his 
cap  with  a  smile.  Ferrante  and  his  cousin,  Luigi 
Gonzaga  of  Borgoforte,  were  the  Emperor's  constant 
companions,  and  talked  and  laughed  with  him  in  the 
most  famiUar  way ;  but  the  Venetians  noticed  that 
he  always  spoke  of  war  and  politics  with  the  Duke  of 
Urbino,  and  only  discussed  hunting  and  other  amuse- 
ments with  Federico.  This  time  the  Duke  resolved 
to  give  a  series  of  theatrical  performances  in  the 
Castello,  and  asked  his  mother  to  allow  her  suite  of 
rooms  on  the  ground  floor  of  the  Corte  Vecchia  to  be 
fitted  up  as  a  stage. ^  The  preparations  were  on  a 
grand  scale,  and  cost  Messer  Giulio  and  Calandra 
no  small  amount  of  trouble.  At  Federico's  request, 
Titian  sent  him  a  skilful  and  '*  very  pleasing  artist," 
called  Vincenzo  of  Brescia,  who  painted  a  large 
canvas  with  villages  and  houses  and  an  Emperor 
on  horseback  attended  by  guards  on  Arab  steeds, 
which  was  suspended  from  the  roof  by  gold  silk 
cords.^  Messer  Giulio,  "although  little  versed  in 
such  matters,  also  displayed  rare  skill  and  ingenuity," 

1  M.  Sanuto,  Diarii,  Ivii.  227,  &c. 
*  D'AncoiiEj  Teatro,  ii.  430,  &c 


and  painted,  we  are  told,  the  most  beautiful  per- 
spectives and  scenery.  "  Never,"  exclaims  Vasari, 
*'  were  masquerades  so  splendid,  or  costumes  so  varied 
as  those  which  this  master  designed  for  the  jousts, 
pageants,  and  tournaments  that  were  held  on  this 
occasion,  and  which  the  Emperor  Charles  and  all 
present  beheld  with  amazement."^ 

The  magnificent  paintings  in  the  new  halls  of 
the  Castello,  and  above  all  Titian's  portrait  of  the 
Duke,  made  a  still  deeper  impression  upon  the  art- 
loving  monarch,  who  repeatedly  declared  that  he 
should  like  this  master  to  paint  his  own  portrait.^ 
Upon  which  Federico  sent  an  express  messenger  to 
Venice,  begging  Titian  to  come  to  Mantua  at  once, 
and  with  a  touch  of  his  mother's  practical  nature, 
added  a  postscript  desiring  the  painter  to  bring  some 
fresh  supplies  of  fish  with  him.  Titian,  however, 
was  unable  to  leave  Venice,  and  agreed  to  join  the 
Emperor  at  Bologna,  where  he  was  to  meet  the  Pope 
in  December.  On  St.  Andrew's  Day,  a  solemn 
mass  was  held  in  S.  Andrea,  at  which  the  Dukes  of 
Ferrara,  Urbino,  Milan,  and  Mantua  were  all  present, 
and  the  Marchese  del  Vasto  was  invested  with  the 
Order  of  the  Golden  Fleece.  On  the  5th,  a  ball  was 
held  in  the  Castello,  and  the  Marchesa  Isabella  sat 
at  the  Emperor's  table,  her  daughter-in-law  being  in 
delicate  health  and  unable  to  appear.  When  they 
had  finished  supper,  Charles  took  his  hostess  by  the 
hand  and  led  her  to  the  tables  where  the  other 
guests  sat,  and  himself  waited  on  them  in  the  most 
gallant  fashion  in  the  world.  A  final  hunting  party 
had  been  fixed  to  take  place  at  Gonzaga,  but  was 

1   File,  c^'C,  V.  335. 

*  P.  Aretino,  Lettere,  i.  257. 


stopped  by  a  heavy  fall  of  snow,  and  the  Duke 
ordered  sleighs  to  be  prepared  after  the  German 
fashion.  But  news  came  of  the  Pope's  arrival  at 
Bologna,  and  Charles  could  not  tarry  any  longer. 
"  All  the  ladies,"  says  the  Venetian,  "  were  looking 
forward  to  this  new  amusement  with  delight,  and 
cursed  the  Pope  for  disturbing  their  pleasures."  ^  To- 
wards the  middle  of  the  month,  Charles  started  on 
his  journey,  escorted  by  the  Dukes  of  Mantua,  Fer- 
rara,  and  Milan,  and  proceeded  to  Bologna,  stopping 
on  the  way  at  Borgoforte  Gonzaga,  and  Correggio, 
where  he  was  the  guest  of  Veronica  Gambara. 

Before  leaving  Italy,  the  Emperor  arranged  a 
marriage  between  Donna  Giulia  of  Aragon,  the  Duke 
of  Mantua's  rejected  bride,  and  Giovanni  Giorgio, 
the  infirm  old  Marquis  of  Monferrato.  The  mar- 
riage was  celebrated  with  great  pomp  at  Ferrara 
in  April,  and  on  the  21st,  the  bride  entered  Casale 
in  state.  But  the  poor  old  bridegroom  was  so  ill 
that  he  could  not  leave  his  room,  and  died  eight 
days  afterwards.  The  Infanta  returned  to  her 
mother  at  Ferrara,  and  the  male  Hne  of  the  Paleo- 
loghi  came  to  an  end.  The  Duke  of  Mantua  now 
claimed  Monferrato  by  right  of  his  wife,  the  only 
surviving  child  of  the  Marquis  Guglielmo,  and  in 
spite  of  the  opposition  of  the  Marquis  of  Saluzzo  and 
of  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  finally  attained  his  object.  In 
1536,  an  imperial  decree  was  issued  by  which  Federico 
and  his  heirs  obtained  the  title  of  Marquis  of  Mon- 
ferrato, and  this  rich  province  was  annexed  to  Mantua. 

On  the  13th  of  March  1533,  Duchess  Margherita 
gave  birth  to  a  son  and  heir,  who  received  the  name 
of  Francesco  and  was  held  at  the  font  by  his  grand- 

^   M.  Sanuto,  op.  ciU,  p.  334. 

352         BIRTH   OF   FEDERICO'S   SON 

mother,  Isabella  d'Este.  The  long-desired  event  was 
celebrated  by  pubhc  rejoicings  which  lasted  three 
days,  and  the  riotous  youth  of  Mantua  gave  vent  to 
their  exultation  by  making  a  huge  bonfire,  in  which 
the  doors  of  the  shops,  the  seats  of  the  Palazzo  di 
Giustizia,  with  the  documents  which  they  contained, 
and  even  the  chairs  of  the  Duomo,  were  all  con- 

In  this  same  month  of  March  1533,  Isabella 
addressed  a  letter  to  a  certain  Messer  Giovanni  Tucca, 
who  was  secretary  to  Alfonso  d'Avalos,  Marchese  del 
Vasto.  This  powerful  favourite  had  twice  visited 
Mantua  with  his  imperial  master,  and  had  formed 
a  close  friendship  with  the  Duke,  who  employed 
Titian  to  paint  the  well-known  group  of  D'Avalos 
and  his  family.  This  fine  work  was  long  one  of  the 
ornaments  of  the  ducal  collection,  and  after  the  sale 
of  Charles  the  First's  pictures,  passed  into  the  hands 
of  Louis  XIV.  It  now  came  to  the  JVIarchesa's 
knowledge  that  Del  Vasto  had  expressed  a  wish  to 
acquire  her  own  picture  of  the  Magdalen  for  his 
aunt,  Vittoria  Colonna.  In  her  anxiety  to  oblige 
her  son's  influential  friend,  Isabella  promptly  sent  the 
picture  in  question,  with  the  following  note,  to  Messer 
Tucca : — 

"  Some  time  ago,  I  saw  a  letter  which  you 
wrote  to  my  friend.  Count  Nicola  MafFei,  in  which 
you  mentioned  that  the  illustrious  Signor  Marchese 
del  Vasto  wished  to  have  my  picture  of  S.  M. 
Magdalen,  that  he  might  give  it  to  the  Signora 
Marchesa  di  Pescara.  Since  there  is  nothing  in  the 
world  that  I  would  not  give  His  Excellency,  I  felt 
the  greatest  satisfaction  on  hearing  of  this  his  desire, 

*  M.  Sanuto,  op.  cit. 


and  would  have  sent  him  the  picture  at  once  ;  but 
as  I  wished  to  keep  a  replica  of  the  work,  it  was 
necessary  to  wait  until  the  painter  was  able  to  copy- 
it.  Now  it  is  finished,  and  I  send  the  picture 
to  you  by  the  bearer,  praying  you  to  present  it 
to  the  Signor  Marchese  in  my  name,  saying  how 
much  I  wish  it  were  even  better  than  it  is,  although 
if  it  pleases  the  Lady  Marchesa,  it  cannot  fail  to  be 
very  beautiful.  And  pray  assure  him — what,  indeed, 
he  knows  already — that  anything  else  which  I  possess 
is  at  his  service."  ^ 

In  parting  with  her  choicest  pictures  to  gratify 
the  Emperor's  favourites,  Isabella  was  only  following 
the  example  of  her  brother  Alfonso,  who  allowed 
the  Imperial  secretary,  Covos,  to  choose  several  of 
the  finest  Titians  at  Ferrara,  including  his  own  por- 
trait and  that  of  his  son  Ercole.  But  it  would  be 
interesting  to  know  who  was  the  painter  of  the 
Magdalen  which  passed  into  the  hands  of  Vittoria 
Colonna.  This  accomphshed  lady  had  already,  as  we 
know,  one  Magdalen  of  surpassing  beauty,  painted  by 
Titian  at  the  Duke  of  Mantua's  request,  and  it  is 
doubtful  if  she  wished  for  another.  On  the  other 
hand,  a  copy  of  a  Magdalen  by  Titian  is  mentioned 
in  the  inventory  of  1627,  and  the  relations  of  this 
master  with  the  Gonzagas  were  so  frequent  that 
Vittoria's  picture  was  probably  his  work,  and  may 
have  been  copied  from  the  small  travelling-piece 
which  he  painted  for  the  Marchesa  in  1530. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  Titian  executed  another 
commission  for  Isabella  about  this  time.  This  was  the 
fine  portrait  of  herself  now  in  the  Imperial  Gallery 
at  Vienna.     This  picture,  which  represents  the  Mar- 

*  Luzio  in  Rivista  Maniovana,  i.  19- 
VOL.  IL  Z 


chesa  in  the  full  bloom  of  her  beauty,  although  it  was 
painted  in  1536,  when  she  was  already  over  sixty,  has 
always  been  a  puzzle  to  critics  and  historians.  But 
new  documents  from  the  Archivio  Gonzaga  have  been 
recently  brought  to  hght  by  Dr.  Luzio,  which  ex- 
plain the  enigma,  and  make  the  whole  case  clear.  ^ 
Titian  had  already,  as  we  have  seen,  painted  a  por- 
trait of  Isabella  at  the  age  of  fifty-five,  when  her 
face  and  figure  had  lost  their  youthful  grace,  and 
the  Duke,  who  was  fondly  attached  to  his  mother, 
naturally  wished  to  have  a  picture  of  the  Marchesa 
as  she  appeared  in  the  flower  of  her  age,  by  the 
hand  of  his  favourite  master.  Then  Isabella  re- 
membered the  portrait  by  Francia  which  had  ex- 
cited so  much  admiration  when  it  was  painted  in 
1511,  and  which,  to  her  great  regret,  she  had  given 
to  Gianfrancesco  Zaninello.  At  her  request,  the 
brother  of  the  Ferrarese  collector,  into  whose  hands 
Francia's  portrait  had  passed  after  Gianfrancesco's 
death,  lent  Titian  the  precious  picture,  which  the 
great  master  promised  to  copy  as  soon  as  possible. 
The  negotiation  was  effected  by  means  of  one  of 
Isabella's  constant  correspondents  at  Ferrara,  the 
humanist  Stabellino,  who  generally  signs  himself 
"  Apollo  "  or  "  Demogorgon "  in  his  letters.  On 
the  3rd  of  March  1534,  this  writer  addressed  the 
following  letter  to  her  from  the  Schifanoia  palace, 
where  he  was  staying  with  Duchess  Renee,  begging 
for  the  return  of  the  portrait : — 

"  Dear  and  most  honoured  Lady, — About  three 
or  four  months  ago,  Your  Excellency  desired  that 
I  should  ask  Zaninello,  the  brother  of  the  late 
Giovanni  Francesco  Zaninello,  for  your  portrait,  in 

^  Luzio  in  Emporium,  1900,  p.  432. 


order  that  I  might  send  it  to  you  at  Mantua,  with 
the  promise  that  it  should  be  returned  to  him  in 
about  a  month's  time.  I  asked  him  for  the  picture, 
and  he  gave  it  me  gladly,  and  1  sent  it  to  Your 
Highness.  But  the  portrait  has  never  been  returned. 
Zaninello  has  asked  me  several  times  about  this,  and 
has  begged  me  earnestly  to  write  and  ask  you  to  send 
his  picture  back,  if  you  have  no  objection,  since  he 
wishes  to  keep  it  for  your  sake,  and  in  remembrance 
of  the  devoted  attachment  which  he  has  long  borne 
and  still  bears  you. — Your  servant,  Apollo." 

On  receiving  this  note,  Isabella  wrote  off  at  once 
to  Benedetto  Agnello : — 

"  Since  the  lender  of  our  portrait  which  Messer 
Titian  had  to  copy  begs  earnestly  that  it  may  be 
returned,  we  desire  you  to  recover  the  picture,  and 
send  it  to  us  by  a  discreet  and  trusty  person,  packed 
in  such  a  manner  that  it  may  not  run  any  risk  of  being 
injured."     Mantua,  March  6,  1534. 

But  Titian,  it  is  plain,  had  not  yet  begun  the 
portrait  which  he  was  to  paint  from  Francia's  ori- 
ginal, and  two  whole  years  passed  before  the  work 
was  finished.  On  the  5th  of  May  1536,  when  the 
Emperor  was  in  Italy  again,  and  the  Duke  of 
Mantua  went  to  meet  him  at  Asti,  Isabella  once 
more  renewed  her  oft-repeated  entreaty,  and  begged 
Agnello  to  ask  Titian  to  return  the  borrowed  portrait. 
The  ambassador  wrote  in  reply  from  Venice:  "  Titian 
is  not  here ;  he  started  for  Mantua  some  days  ago, 
and  followed  the  Duke  to  court,  intending  to  return 
with  him  to  Mantua,  where  Your  Excellency  will 
see  him  before  I  do,  and  can  speak  to  him  yourself 
about  ZanineUo's  portrait,  and  order  him  to  return  it 
as  soon  as  he  reaches  home.** 

856        FROM    FRANCIA'S   ORIGINAL 

On  the  29th  of  May,  Isabella  wrote  to  acknow- 
ledge the  receipt  of  Titian's  portrait,  which  had  at 
length  reached  her : — 

"  Our  portrait  by  the  hand  of  Titian  pleases  us 
so  much  that  we  doubt  if  we  were  ever  as  beautiful 
as  this,  even  at  the  age  at  which  he  has  represented 
us.  We  have  been  thinking  of  making  some  return 
to  Titian  for  the  trouble  which  he  has  had,  but  have 
decided  to  wait  until  he  sends  back  Zaninello's  por- 
trait, which  you  will  beg  him  to  restore,  in  order  that 
it  may  be  given  back  to  those  gentlemen  who  have 
been  expecting  it  so  impatiently,  and,  it  must  be 
owned,  with  good  reason."  ^ 

This  second  portrait  of  Isabella  by  Titian  was 
also  copied  by  Peter  Paul  Rubens  when  he  was  at 
Mantua  in  the  early  years  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
and  his  replica  was  engraved  by  Vorsterman,  whose 
print  bears  the  inscription :  Isabella  Estensis,  Fran- 
cisci  Gonzagce,  March.  MantovcBy  uxor.  E.  Titiard 
prototypo.  P.  P.  Rubens  ex.  The  engraving  agrees 
exactly  with  the  portrait  by  Titian,  which  came  to 
Vienna  in  the  Archduke  Leopold's  collection,  and 
there  can  be  no  doubt  that  this  handsome  and  richly- 
dressed  young  princess  is  Isabella  d'Este,  as  she  was 
when  Francia  painted  her  twenty-five  years  before. 
The  features  bear  a  marked  likeness  to  those  of  her 
daughter  Leonora ;  the  blue  eyes  remind  us  that 
Isabella  had  found  fault  with  the  Bologna  master 
for  not  making  her  eyes  dark  enough,  and  the 
wavy  hair  retains  the  golden  hue  which  Equicola  and 
Trissino  compare  to  the  radiant  locks  of  Petrarch's 
Laura.  On  her  head  we  see  the  favourite  jewelled 
cap,  while  the  old  pattern  of  interlaced   links,  de- 

^  Luzio,  Emporium,  1 900,  p.  432. 


signed  for  her  by  Niccolo  da  Correggio  and  Leon- 
ardo long  ago,  is  repeated  in  the  gold  and  silver 
embroidery  of  the  pale  blue  sleeves.  A  black  velvet 
camora  or  pehsse,  trimmed  with  ermine,  is  thrown 
over  her  shoulders ;  a  white  muslin  chemisette  and 
frills  set  off  the  dazzling  fairness  of  her  skin,  and  pearl 
earrings  and  a  pearl  brooch  in  her  head-dress  are  her 
only  ornaments.  This  portrait,  admirably  painted  as 
it  is,  naturally  lacks  the  life  and  character  of  Leon- 
ardo's drawing,  and  is  without  the  force  that  distin- 
guishes Rubens's  copy  of  the  earlier  Titian.  We  feel 
that  the  beautiful  Marchesa  herself  never  sat  for  this 
picture,  and  that  fii'st  Francia,  and  after  him  Titian, 
worked  from  another  artist's  design.  We  admire  the 
grace  and  elegance  of  Isabella's  attire,  and  are  able 
to  form  some  idea  of  her  features,  but  we  miss  the 
keen  intelligence  and  sparkling  vivacity  that  were 
the  most  striking  marks  of  her  vivid  and  brilhant 



Relations  of  Isabella  with  Ferrara — Stabellino's  letters — Duchess 
Renee  and  her  child  Anna  d'Este — Death  of  Duke  Alfonso — 
Isabella's  trip  to  the  Lake  of  Garda — Her  favourite  dwarfs — 
The  government  of  Solarolo — Leonora  of  Urbino — Her  son 
Guidobaldo's  marriage — Manufacture  of  embroidered  stuffs  and 
caps  at  Mantua — Isabella's  majolica  dinner  services — Plates  in 
the  Museo  Correr  and  British  Museum — Cardinal  Gonzaga 
sends  his  mother  a  medal  of  Aristotle — Her  interest  in  gar- 
dening— The  gardens  at  Porto — Trissino  begs  the  help  of  her 
gardener  at  his  villa  of  Cricoli. 

The  strong  family  affection  which  was  so  striking  a 
feature  in  Isabella's  character  became  deepened  and 
intensified  in  her  declining  years.  Nothing  is  more 
remarkable  than  the  warmth  and  constancy  with 
which  she  clung  to  her  old  home  and  friends  at 
Ferrara,  in  these  last  days.  She  still  paid  frequent 
visits  to  her  brother's  court,  and  received  weekly 
letters  from  Girolamo  da  Sestola,  while  the  witty 
noveUst  Stabellino  kept  her  fully  informed  of 
everything  that  happened  at  Ferrara.  Now  that 
Duke  Alfonso  had  at  length  recovered  Modena  and 
Reggio,  a  new  era  of  peace  and  prosperity  set  in, 
and  the  court  resumed  its  old  gaiety.  Stabellino's 
letters  abound  in  descriptions  of  the  fetes  that  were 
held  at  the  Schifanoia,  and  of  the  costumes  worn  by 
Duchess  Renee  and  her  ladies.  Isabella,  as  usual, 
was  anxious  to  hear  every  detail,  and  the  novelist 


did  his  best  to  satisfy  her  curiosity.  He  tells  her 
how  one  evening  the  Duchess  entertained  the  ladies 
of  the  court  at  the  Schifanoia,  and  appeared  in  a 
blue  satin  robe  with  a  high  collar  in  the  French 
fashion,  but  with  sleeves  slashed  to  "  show  the  white 
chemisette,  such  as  our  ladies  wear,"  a  gold  fillet, 
little  black  velvet  cap  with  a  white  feather  on  her 
head.  Six  of  her  ladies  wore  black  satin,  and 
six  were  robed  in  crimson,  with  the  same  velvet 
caps  and  gold  fillets,  while  the  Queen  of  Naples's 
daughters  were  clad  in  Italian  fashion  with  low-cut 
bodices  and  bare  necks.  A  week  afterwards  Rende 
appeared  in  the  park  at  Belfiore,  wearing  a  black 
satin  robe  in  the  French  style,  but  a  gold  cap  of 
Mantuan  cut,  which,  not  being  a  French  fashion, 
greatly  exercised  the  tongues  of  her  guests,  although 
StabeUino  remarks  :  "  It  is  said  she  wore  this  cap  to 
hide  her  ears,  or  perhaps  from  fear  of  cold."^  A  few 
months  later  he  reports  that  Madame  de  Soubise  has, 
it  is  plain,  persuaded  the  Duchess  to  give  up  the 
Portuguese  fashion  then  in  vogue  in  Italy,  and  return 
to  the  French  style  of  dress.  "  All  our  ladies,"  he 
adds,  "  are  on  the  tip-toe  of  expectation  to  see  what 
fashions  she  adopts,  and  are  ready  to  follow  her." 
Unfortunately  the  influence  of  Madame  de  Soubise 
extended  to  other  matters  besides  dress,  and  became 
the  cause  of  serious  troubles,  which  ended  in  her  dis- 
grace and  return  to  France.  But,  as  long  as  Duke 
Alfonso  lived,  Renee  remained  comparatively  tranquil, 
and  in  November  1533,  the  birth  of  a  son,  who  re- 
ceived his  grandfather's  name,  and  had  Pope  Clement 
VII.  for  his  sponsor,  was  the  cause  of  great  rejoicings. 
Two  years  before  this,  the  Duchess  had  given  birth 

1  Fontana,  op.  cit.,  i.  144. 

360  ANNA    D'ESTE 

to  a  daughter,  who  was  christened  Anna,  after  her 
grandmother,  Anne  de  Bretagne,  and  was  said  to  bear 
a  striking  resemblance  to  her  great-aunt,  Isabella. 

On  the  24th  of  January  1532,  that  kindly  old 
gossip,  Sestola,  wrote  to  Isabella :  "  As  our  Lady 
Duchess  rode  to-day  in  her  litter,  to  see  the  tourna- 
ment at  the  Schifanoia,  she  called  me  to  walk  by  her 
side,  and  asked  me  what  I  thought  of  her  baby, 
who  is  indeed  a  beautiful  child.  She  told  me  that 
our  Signor  had  said  that  she  was  a  little  like  Your 
Excellency  when  you  were  a  child.  I  replied  that  I 
thought  so  too,  and  that  I  had  seen  a  portrait  of  Your 
Signoria  at  Mantua  which  certainly  resembled  the 
little  girl.  The  Duchess  immediately  told  me  to  write 
to  Your  Excellency,  and  beg  you  to  send  her  this 
portrait,  which  is  one  that  I  saw  in  the  house  of  la 
Brogna,  when  we  went  to  see  her  babe  christened. 
The  portrait  is  one  of  Your  Highness  as  a  child,  if  I 
remember  right,  wearing  a  garland  or  wreath  on  your 
brow,  with  a  clasp  in  the  centre  of  the  forehead.  I 
think  that  you  must  have  given  the  picture  to  Brogna, 
because  you  showed  it  to  me  when  we  were  at  her 
house.  Will  Your  Excellency  kindly  ask  Brogna 
for  the  portrait,  and  let  me  have  it  ?  and  when  the 
Duchess  has  seen  it,  I  promise  to  send  it  back  safely. 
The  Duchess  never  lets  the  baby  go  out  of  her  sight, 
and  she  is  certainly  a  very  fine  child."  ^ 

Isabella  sent  the  portrait  by  the  next  courier  to 
Ferrara,  with  the  following  note :  "  I  send  my  por- 
trait to  gratify  the  Duchess,  and  think  this  must  be 
the  one  you  mean,  because  it  was  taken  when  I  was 
about  three  years  old.  You  will  be  able  to  judge 
if  it  bears    any   resemblance    to    Her   Excellency's 

1  Luzio  in  Emporium,  1900,  p,  345. 


little  daughter,  and  if,  please  God,  she  is  at  all  like 
me  in  the  Duke's  opinion,  I  shall  be  greatly  de- 
lighted. I  have  given  another  portrait,  which  was 
taken  after  my  marriage,  to  the  court  painter  here, 
to  be  restored,  and  will  send  it  to  you  as  soon  as  this 
is  done,  but  should  be  glad  to  have  both  of  them 
back  again.     Commend  me  to  the  Duchess." 

On  the  8th  of  February,  Girolamo  wrote  to  say 
that  both  the  portraits  had  reached  him  safely.  "  I 
took  them  at  once  to  the  Duchess,  who  was  more 
delighted  with  them  than  I  can  say,  and  we  went 
to  look  at  the  child  directly.  Certainly,  my  dear 
lady,  the  portrait  of  you  is  very  like  her — from  the 
nose  downwards,  her  face  is  exactly  your  own.  Every 
one  who  has  seen  your  portrait  says  that  it  bears  the 
strongest  resemblance  to  the  child,  and  so  Her  Ex- 
cellency has  begged  to  be  allowed  to  keep  it  for  this 

Before  the  portraits  were  returned,  the  Duke 
ordered  them  both  to  be  copied,  so  that  some  likeness 
of  the  Marchesa  should  remain  at  Ferrara,  and  that 
he  should  keep  these  recollections  of  his  sister  before 
his  eyes.  Isabella  was  highly  gratified,  and  took 
especial  interest  in  this  httle  Anna  d'Este,  who 
was,  one  day,  to  become  the  wife  of  Duke  Francis 
of  Guise,  and  hand  down  the  yellow  locks  of  Lucrezia 
Borgia  and  the  charm  of  the  Este  princesses  to  the 
heirs  of  the  house  of  Lorraine. 

In  May  1534,  Alfonso  d'Este  went  to  Milan  for 
the  wedding  of  his  nephew  Francesco  Sforza.  It  may 
have  been  at  his  suggestion  that  his  favourite  master 
Titian  painted  the  portraits  of  the  bridegroom  and  of 
his  youthful  bride^  the  Emperor's  niece,  Christina  of 

*  Luzio,  op.  cit. 

362       DEATH    OF  ALFONSO    D'ESTE 

Denmark.  In  the  following  autumn,  Duke  Alfonso 
died  very  suddenly,  on  the  31st  of  October  1534,  only 
three  months  after  his  enemy,  Pope  Clement  VII. 
But  the  loss  of  this  brother,  to  whom  Isabella  had 
been  so  tenderly  attached  from  her  earliest  childhood, 
made  no  difference  in  the  ties  which  bound  her  to 
Ferrara.  The  Marchesa's  relations  with  his  children 
remained  as  intimate  as  before,  and  when  in  the 
winter  of  1536  Renee  was  ill,  and  suffering  after  the 
birth  of  her  second  daughter  Lucrezia,  Duke  Ercole 
wrote  to  his  aunt,  begging  her  to  spend  carnival  at 
FeiTara,  and  amuse  his  sick  wife.  Isabella  gladly 
responded  to  his  appeal,  and  on  the  30th  of  January, 
wrote  to  tell  her  son  Duke  Federico  of  her  safe  arrival 
at  Ferrara.  "  To-day  I  arrived  here  half-aij-hour 
after  nightfall,  and  was  received  by  the  Archbishop 
[her  nephew  Ippolito]  four  miles  from  Ferrara, 
and  found  the  Duke  and  many  nobles  and  ladies 
awaiting  me  on  the  banks  of  the  river.  They 
escorted  me  with  Hghted  torches  to  my  lodgings 
in  the  Corte  Vecchia  of  the  Castello,  opposite 
the  Church  of  San  Domenico.  Soon  afterwards  I 
visited  the  Duchess,  who  has  had  a  touch  of  fever, 
but  nothing  very  serious,  and  then  went  into  the  hall 
to  see  the  dancing  begin."  A  few  days  later  she 
wrote  again,  and  spoke  of  enjoying  the  company  of 
the  Duke  and  Duchess,  and  of  a  supper  given  by 
Ercole  in  the  new  rooms  of  the  palace,  "  which  was 
followed  by  a  concert  of  varied  and  excellent  music, 
and  afterwards  by  dancing  till  bed-time."^ 

Isabella,  it  is  evident,  had  lost  none  of  her  powers 
of  enjoyment  with  advancing  age,  and  the  high 
spirits  and  keen  interest  with  which  she  entered  into 

^   Fontana,  op.  cit. 

THE   LAGO   DI    GARDA  363 

the  amusements  of  the  younger  generation,  made 
her  presence  welcome.  Her  love  of  travel  was  still 
as  great  as  ever.  In  the  spring  of  1535,  she  took 
another  expedition,  accompanied  by  her  favourite 
ladies  and  courtiers,  to  the  shores  of  the  Lago  di 
Garda,^  and  once  more  visited  Sermione  and  Sal6, 
and  all  the  lovely  Riviera  where  she  and  Elisa- 
betta  of  Urbino  had  spent  that  happy  spring-time 
long  ago.  On  this  occasion  her  pet  dwarf,  Mor- 
gantino,  was  one  of  the  party,  and  his  tricks  and 
pleasantries  delighted  the  people  who  lived  on 
the  shores  of  the  lake.  Sometimes  the  peasants 
crowned  him  with  flowers  and  leaves,  and  he  danced 
morescas  on  the  shores  of  the  lake,  or  joined  in  the 
dances  of  the  country  folk,  to  their  great  delight. 
One  day  as  he  drove  from  Cavriana  on  the  box  of 
the  Marchesa's  coach,  a  violent  storm  of  rain  came 
on,  and  if  Morgantino  had  not  promptly  taken  re- 
fuge inside  the  carriage  he  must  have  been  drowned, 
remarked  one  of  the  party,  "  like  a  fine  chicken  ! " 

This  Morgantino  was  a  very  favourite  dwarf, 
who  accompanied  the  Marchesa  to  Rome  in  1527, 
and  charmed  Cardinal  Pisani  so  much  at  Venice  in 
1530,  that  Isabella  allowed  this  reverend  prelate  to 
keep  him  for  several  weeks.  He  and  Delia  may 
have  been  the  Nanino  and  Nanina  to  whom  we  find 
frequent  allusions  in  the  Marchesa's  letters  at  this 
period  of  her  life,  and  who  became  the  parents  of 
a  race  of  pet  dwarfs.  Nanina  was  sent  to  Bologna 
when  Isabella  was  there  for  the  Emperor's  corona- 
tion, and  two  years  afterwards,  the  Marchesa  offered 
Duchess  Rende  one  of  her  children,  who  bade  fair 
to    be  as  small  as  herself.      "  Four  years  ago,"  she 

^  D'Ancona,  Teatro,  ii. ;  Ferrato,  Del  Viaggio,  &c.,  p.  43, 


wrote  to  one  of  Renee's  ladies,  "  I  promised  Madame 
Renee  to  give  her  the  first  girl  who  was  born  to  my 
dwarfs.  As  she  knows,  the  puttina  is  now  two  years 
old,  and  will  no  doubt  remain  a  dwarf,  although  she 
hardly  gives  hopes  of  being  as  tiny  as  my  Delia. 
She  is  now  able  to  walk  alone  and  without  a  guide, 
if  the  Duchess  wishes  to  have  her."  Another  "  bella 
Nanina"  was  sent  by  the  Marchesa  to  Ferrante 
Gonzaga's  wife  in  October  1533,  and  the  young 
princess  wrote  a  grateful  letter  to  her  mother-in- 
law%  saying  that  the  dwarf  was  the  sweetest  and 
gentlest  creature  in  the  world,  and  afforded  her 
infinite  amusement."^ 

In  these  last  years  Isabella's  travels  were  chiefly 
limited  to  Ferrara  and  Venice,  and  only  occasionally 
extended  to  her  Uttle  fief  of  Solarolo.  The  frequent 
letters  which  she  addressed  to  the  governor  and 
magistrates  of  this  favoured  town  are  stiU  preserved 
in  the  Archivio  Gonzaga,^  and  are  said  to  be 
models  of  wise  and  far-sighted  administration. 
While  she  did  not  shrink  from  repressing  riot  and 
disorder  sternly,  she  insisted  on  the  most  scrupulous 
regard  for  justice,  and  neglected  nothing  which 
could  promote  the  welfare  of  her  subjects.  After 
Isabella's  death  the  little  principality  passed  to  her 
younger  grandson,  Luigi  Gonzaga,  who  inherited 
the  Duchy  of  Nevers  through  his  wife,  and  sold 
Solarolo  in  1574  to  Pope  Gregory  XIII.^ 

Isabella's  affection  for  her  daughter  Leonora  had 
never  been  as  great  and  absorbing  as  that  which  she 
cherished  for  her  sons,  and  after  the  death  of  the 

1  Luzio  e  Renier  in  Nuova  Antologia,  1891,  p.  134. 

2  Luzio  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  1901,  p.  146. 
8  Litta,  Famiglie,  vol.  iii.  tav,  35. 


Duchess  Elisabetta,  misunderstandings  often  arose 
between  Federico  Gonzaga  and  his  brother-in-law, 
which  made  a  division  between  the  two  families. 
But  in  her  last  years  Isabella  became  more  closely 
drawn  towards  Leonora,  and  her  heart  yearned  over 
this  daughter  who  had  left  home  so  young,  and  had 
known  so  much  trouble.  After  her  return  from 
Rome  in  1527,  when  Leonora  was  taking  the  baths  of 
Albano,  Isabella  spoke  very  affectionately  of  her  to  a 
Dominican  friar,  who  reported  the  conversation  to 
the  Duchess.  "The  other  day,"  he  wrote,  "Madama, 
your  Illustrious  Mother  and  my  honoured  mistress, 
spoke  of  Your  Excellency  and  of  all  the  miseries 
and  ill-health  which  you  have  endured,  and  ex- 
pressed the  greatest  distress  and  anxiety  on  your 
account.  Twice  over  Her  Excellency  repeated 
these  words  :  '  The  poor  child  has  really  been  cruelly 
tormented  by  fortune  I  She  has  really  never  had 
any  happiness ;  I  only  wonder  she  has  not  died  of 
grief  I '  And  she  repeated  these  words,  as  if  she 
herself  shared  your  sufferings,  so  that  I  can  tell 
Your  Excellency  I  felt  quite  consoled,  and  could 
see  that  she  spoke  from  the  bottom  of  her  heart. 
I  have  always  known  her  kind  and  loving  to  Your 
Excellency,  but  now  I  see  how  much  deep  affection 
and  sympathy  she  feels  for  you.  ...  So  Your  Ex- 
cellency must  take  courage,  and  together  with  the 
benefit  which  you  derive  from  the  waters  and  your 
prayers,  this  good  news  may  help  to  give  you  long 
and  happy  days."  ^ 

In   1533,   Leonora   spent   the  spring  months   at 
Mantua,  and   gave   birth   to   a   son   named    Giulio, 
who  entered  the  Church,  and  afterwards  became  a 
^  Luzio  e  Renier,  MatUova,  p.  281. 


Cardinal.  In  the  following  year  her  eldest  son, 
Guidobaldo,  the  boy  who  had  received  his  first  lessons 
in  Virgil  at  his  grandmother's  knee,  was  married  to 
Giulia  Varana,  the  heiress  of  Camerino.  Isabella 
had  always  been  on  friendly  terms  with  this  family, 
and  kept  up  an  active  correspondence  with  the 
Duchess  of  Camerino,  who  was  related  to  the  house 
of  Este.  The  bride's  trousseau,  on  this  occasion,  was 
chiefly  made  at  JNIantua,  under  the  personal  super- 
vision of  the  Marchesa,  who  wrote  to  tell  the  Duchess 
that  the  embroideries  were  all  in  hand,  and  should 
be  finished  as  soon  as  possible.  '*  I  quite  hope,"  she 
adds,  "  that  they  may  be  as  beautiful  and  perfect  as  I 
should  wish,  since,  as  Your  Highness  knows,  there 
are,  in  this  city,  persons  of  gi-eat  skill  and  knowledge 
in  this  branch  of  art."  ^  Thus,  even  in  her  old  age, 
Isabella  maintained  her  reputation  for  elegance  and 
fine  taste,  and  foreign  queens  and  princesses  still 
looked  to  her  as  the  glass  of  fashion.  The  French 
Queen  warmly  appreciated  a  gift  of  a  dozen  pairs 
of  gloves  which  Isabella  sent  her  one  Christmas, 
and  the  gold-embroidered  caps  or  scuffiotti  which 
were  made  from  her  patterns  at  Mantua,  became 
famous  throughout  Italy.  When  Lucrezia  Borgia 
first  married  she  begged  for  one  of  these  caps,  and 
when  in  later  years  Duke  Alfonso  was  growing  bald, 
Bartolomeo  Ziliolo  asked  Isabella  to  send  him  some 
very  beautiful  caps,  elegantly  worked  in  gold  and 
silver,  which  he  had  seen  at  Mantua,  and  received 
five  of  the  best  specimens  which  the  Marchesa  could 
lay  hands  on,  by  express.^  Again,  in  1518,  we  find 
Raphael  and  Castiglione's  friend  the  historian,  Andrea 

1  Luzio  in  Nuova  Antologia,  1 896. 

2  Bertolotti,  Artisti,  &c. 


Navagero,  thanking  Equicola  for  the  gold  scuffiotto 
which  he  has  sent  his  innamorata,  and  which  this 
fair  lady  wears  with  all  the  more  pleasure  because  it 
is  made  after  a  new  fashion  which  has  not  yet  been 
seen  in  Venice.  In  those  days  when  the  Court  of 
the  Gonzagas  had  gained  a  world-wide  celebrity,  a 
band  of  Mantuan  embroiderers  emigrated  to  London, 
and  settled  at  the  Court  of  Henry  VIII.,  where 
they  found  speedy  employment. 

The  word  "  Mantua-maker "  is  said  to  owe  its 
origin  to  these  Italian  emigrants,  and  it  was  the  fame 
of  Isabella  d'Este  that  inspired  Leigh  Hunt's  well- 
known  Unes : 

"  Mantua  of  every  age  the  long  renown, 
That  now  a  Virgil  giv'st,  and  now  a  gown  ! " 

Another  artistic  manufacture  which  Isabella 
patronised  throughout  her  life,  and  on  which  she 
left  her  mark,  was  the  majolica  of  Urbino.  Many 
commissions  for  this  beautiful  ware  were  given  by 
her  to  the  workers  of  Casteldurante  and  Pesaro. 
In  1523,  Alfonso  d'Este  sent  an  artist  named 
Antonio  da  Faenza,  who  was  working  for  him  at 
Ferrara,  to  his  sister  at  Mantua,  with  several  fine 
dishes  and  plates  of  his  manufacture.  "  If  you  wish 
for  similar  works  of  equal  beauty,"  wrote  the  Duke, 
"you  have  only  to  give  your  orders  to  Maestro 
Antonio,  who  will  not  fail  to  satisfy  you."  ^  And 
in  1530,  when  Calandra  wrote  to  order  a  dinner 
service,  or  credenza,  Picenardi,  the  poet  who  fre- 
quently corresponded  with  the  Marchesa,  replied : 
"  I  have  been  to  Urbino,  where  I  saw  many  ad- 
mirable pieces  of  majolica,  painted  with  landscapes, 

1  Bertolotti  in  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  xvi,  832. 


fables,  and  stories  of  surpassing  beauty.  I  in- 
quired about  the  service  which  you  ordered.  It 
is  impossible  to  give  any  idea  of  the  price  without 
knowing  the  quality  and  quantity  of  the  pieces 
required.  But  they  tell  me  that  one  of  the  large 
dishes  would  be  about  two  and  a  half  ducats,  and 
the  smaller  ones  a  ducat,  or  a  ducat  and  a  half 
each.  Bowls  and  round  dishes  are  three  or  four 
ducats  a-piece,  according  to  the  style  of  workman- 
ship, which  varies  considerably  in  excellence,"  ^ 

Many  pieces  of  the  magnificent  dinner  services 
which  once  belonged  to  Isabella  are  still  in  exist- 
ence, and  may  be  seen  in  public  and  private 
collections.  There  are  seventeen  plates  in  the 
Correr  Museum  at  Venice,  bearing  the  Este  and 
Gonzaga  arms,  and  painted  with  graceful  mytho- 
logical figures — Apollo  playing  the  viol,  and  Orpheus 
charming  the  wild  beasts  with  his  magic  song — in 
which  MoreUi  recognised  the  hand  of  Raphael's 
master,  Timoteo  Viti.  Another  plate,  painted  with 
Isabella's  favourite  device  of  musical  notes  and 
rests,  may  be  seen  in  the  Bologna  Museum ;  while 
several  richly  -  coloured  dishes  are  in  the  British 
Museum.  The  last-named  pieces  all  bear  the  Este 
and  Gonzaga  arms,  supported  by  winged  boys,  and 
the  motto  Nee  spe  nee  metu.  Two  of  the  largest 
dishes  are  decorated  with  groups  of  Apollo  slaying 
the  Python,  and  Daphne  turning  into  the  laurel 
bush  as  the  Sun-god  lays  his  hand  upon  her.^  But 
the  finest  of  all  is  the  seodella  or  bowl  in  M. 
Alphonse  de  Rothschild's  collection  in  Paris,  which 
M.  Jacquemart  has  called  the  masterpiece  of  ItaUan 

^  Campori,  Notisie,  &c.,  p.  111. 

'  LermoliefF,  Gallerie  zu  Berlin,  p.  219>  &C- 

A   FAMOUS    BOWL  369 

majolica.^  Here  the  ground  is  blue,  and  the  Marchesa's 
arms,  including  the  fleur-de-lys  which  the  Este  were 
privileged  to  wear,  are  blazoned  in  colours  on  a 
shield,  supported  by  putti,  while  below  a  troop  of 
winged  boys  are  represented,  with  banners  in  their 
hands,  and  a  scroll  inscribed  with  the  words,  Nee 
spe  nee  metu.  Both  for  elegance  of  shape  and 
quality  of  paste,  as  well  as  for  the  grace  of  the 
painted  figures  and  charm  of  the  whole  decoration, 
this  centre-piece,  which  once  adorned  Isabella's 
dinner-table,  remains  unsurpassed.  All  of  these  ex- 
quisite specimens  are  now  recognised  to  be  the  work 
of  Nicolo  Pellipario  of  Casteldurante,  who  Uved  at 
Urbino  between  1520  and  1530,  and  many  of  them 
still  bear  the  monogram  of  this  fine  artist,  whose 
rare  merit  our  Marchesa  was  quick  to  discover  and 
turn  to  good  account. 

But  fond  as  Isabella  was  of  fine  majolica  and 
rich  stuffs,  of  elegant  costumes  and  deUcate  em- 
broideries, the  love  of  antiques  remained  her  ruling 
passion.  Of  all  her  contemporaries  none  was  more 
fully  dominated  by  that  "  foolish  madness,"  to  which 
Zuan  Francesco  Vaher  referred,  when  he  sent  her 
an  antique  marble  head  which  had  just  arrived  from 
Rhodes,  and  was  greatly  admired  in  Venice,  although 
he  fears  it  may  seem  a  vile  thing  among  the  treasures 
of  the  Grotta.  Isabella  thanked  her  Venetian  friend 
in  rapturous  terms,  which  made  him  say  that  if  the 
head  had  been  made  of  diamonds  and  rubies,  she 
could  not  have  expressed  more  gratitude. 

Her  delight  was  still  greater  when,  in  August, 
1536,  Cardinal  Ercole,  the  one  of  her  sons  who 
inherited  the  most  of  his  mother's  scholarly  tastes, 

1  GazcLle  d.  B.  Arts,  xix.  397. 
VOL.  II.  2  A 


sent  her  a  cast  of  a  portrait-medal  of  Aristotle  which 
had  lately  been  discovered  in  Rome.  Pomponazzi's 
old  pupil  appreciated  the  worth  of  this  rare  treasure 
to  the  full,  and  felt  sure  that  his  mother  would 
understand  the  deep  interest  which  he  felt  in  con- 
templating the  features  of  the  great  philosopher. 

"  Most  illustrious  Lady,  and  dearest  Mother, — 
Since  a  very  ancient  medal  bearing  the  head  of 
Aristotle  has  lately  been  found  here,  a  number  of 
casts  and  impressions  have  been  taken  from  it. 
After  a  great  deal  of  trouble  I  have  at  length 
succeeded  in  obtaining  one  of  these,  which  I  now 
send  to  Your  Excellency,  so  that  as  it  is  impos- 
sible to  obtain  the  medal  itself,  which  is  no  longer 
here,  you  may  at  least  have  a  cast  that  shows  the  face 
of  this  divine  man.  And  certainly,  if  ever  the 
reverse  of  a  medal  was  suitable  and  appropriate,  it 
is  this  figure  of  the  Goddess  of  Nature,  concerning 
whom  Aristotle  reasoned  so  well  that  he  seemed 
to  penetrate  to  the  very  marrow  of  her  bones.  1 
shall  be  pleased  if  this  cast  satisfies  Your  Excellency, 
whose  hands  I  kiss  humbly,  knowing  that  the  sight 
of  my  hand-writing  will  show  you  that  I  am  in 
good  health,  in  spite  of  the  excessive  heat."  ^  From 
Rome,  August  17,  1536. 

To  the  last  this  wonderful  woman  retained  that 
overmastering  love  of  beauty,  alike  in  art  or  nature, 
which  had  distinguished  her  from  early  youth.  The 
spring  loveliness  of  the  shores  of  Garda  and  the  blue 
waters  of  that  sunny  lake  still  excited  her  enthusiasm 
as  keenly  as  of  old,  and  she  was  never  tired  of  im- 
proving and  adorning  the  gardens  of  Porto.  In 
these  last  years  of  her  life  she  spent  much  time  in 

^  Bertolotti,  Artisii,  &c. 

THE   GARDENS   AT   PORTO         371 

this  favourite  retreat,  which  was  so  closely  connected 
with  her  happiest  days.  Here  was  the  Casino  which 
Biagio  Rossetti,  the  Ferrarese  architect,  had  reared 
on  the  pattern  of  the  summer-house  in  her  mother's 
garden,  and  the  Boschetto  which  she  had  planted  in 
the  year  her  father  died.  Here  was  the  sumptuous 
marble  fountain,  with  its  reliefs  and  statues,  designed 
by  the  Lombard  sculptor  who  had  wrought  Beatrice's 
tomb,  and  the  loggia  where  Castiglione  loved  to 
linger  on  summer  evenings,  and  the  green  lawns 
and  quiet  places  which  soothed  the  sorrows  of  the 
good  Dominican  scholar  who  was  torn  away  from 
his  beloved  books.  Here,  too,  was  the  shady  grove 
of  plane  trees  on  the  banks  of  the  rushing  stream, 
where  Bandello  loved  to  sit  on  the  fine  short  grass 
telling  his  stories  to  princes  and  humanists,  while 
Isabella  and  her  ladies  rested  in  the  hot  noontide. 
Here  were  the  sylvan  arbours  and  Arcadian  haunts 
sung  by  Niccolo  Libumio,  the  parish  priest  of  S. 
Fosca  in  Venice,  who  dedicated  his  pastoral  poems 
to  the  Marchesa.  **  I  sing  the  praises  of  the  de- 
licious gardens  of  Porto,  green  with  perpetual  ver- 
dure, musical  with  the  voice  of  waters,  glowing  with 
luscious  fruits  and  sweetest  flowers."^  They  were 
dead  and  gone,  those  briUiant  guests  whose  gay 
voices  once  woke  the  echoes  of  the  rocks  and  filled 
the  woodland  glades  with  music  and  laughter.  But 
the  flowers  which  the  Venetian  poet  had  sung,  the  rare 
plants  and  choice  exotics  which  Isabella  had  collected 
with  so  much  pains  and  expense,  were  still  the  pride 
of  the  gardens.  The  grass  was  still  as  green  and 
the  sound  of  the  running  waters  fell  as  pleasantly 
on  the  ear,  as  in  the  days  when  Elisabetta  Gonzaga 
^  N.  LiburniOj  Le  Selvette. 


and  Emilia  Pia  walked  hand-in-hand  together  under 
the  trees. 

The  Marchesa  herself  took  great  interest  in  the 
practical  side  of  gardening,  and  was  careful  to  see 
that  the  fruit-trees  were  pruned  and  the  box  and 
yew  hedges  clipped  at  the  proper  season.  She  often 
sent  her  gardener  to  see  the  finest  gardens  in  Venice, 
and  occasionally  allowed  him,  as  a  great  favour,  to 
give  advice  to  her  friends.  In  April,  1537,  the  old 
humanist,  Trissino,  wrote  to  tell  Isabella  of  the 
neglected  state  in  which  he  found  his  garden  at  Cricoli 
— '*  A  villa,"  he  explained,  "  no  farther  from  Vicenza 
than  Porto  is  from  Mantua" — and  begged  that  her 
gardener  might  be  allowed  to  come  there  for  two  or 
three  days  and  teach  him  how  to  trim  his  box- 
trees  and  give  him  advice  "as  to  many  other  things 
which  the  garden  needs  sadly."  The  Marchesa 
graciously  complied  with  her  old  friend's  request, 
and  sent  the  gardener  to  Cricoli  with  the  following 
note :  "  Dearest  and  Magnificent  Friend, — My  natural 
wish  to  oblige  you  renders  me  prompt  to  satisfy  your 
prayer  for  a  visit  from  my  gardener.  I  send  him  to 
you  to-day,  only  begging  that,  as  soon  as  he  has  done 
what  is  necessary  to  your  trees,  you  will  send  him 
back  at  once,  because  my  place  at  Porto  is  in  great 
need  of  him  just  now.  Let  me  know  if  I  can  do 
anything  else  to  help  you."     April  4,  1537. 

At  the  end  of  six  days  the  gardener  returned  to 
Porto,  bearing  with  him  the  following  note  from 
Trissino :  "  Most  Illustrious  and  Excellent  Lady,— 
The  coming  of  Your  Excellency's  gardener  has 
proved  of  the  greatest  value  to  me,  especially  as 
the  weather  has  been  very  rainy  of  late.  His  advice 
has  been  of  great  use  to  my  garden,  which  has  been 

AT   CRICOLI  373 

put  into  thorough  order  by  the  man  whom  he 
brought  liere.  For  this  I  render  you  infinite  thanks, 
because  the  greater  the  need,  the  more  grateful  and 
agreeable  to  me  his  visit  has  been.  I  know  not  what 
to  give  or  offer  you  in  return  for  your  kindness  in 
sending  him  so  promptly ;  but  since  myself  and  all 
that  I  possess  have  long  been  placed  at  Your  Ex- 
cellency's service,  I  can  only  repeat  that  I  hold 
myself  ever  at  your  disposal.  I  send  back  the 
gardener  forthwith,  so  that  your  garden  of  Porto 
may  no  longer  be  put  to  inconvenience."^ 

^  B.  Morsolin,  G.  G.  l^iissino. 



Visit  of  Leonora,  Duchess  of  Urbino  to  Mantua — Titian's  portraits 
of  the  Duke  and  Duchess — Death  of  Francesco  Maria — Of 
Francesco  Sforza,  Duke  of  Milan — Of  Luigi  Rodomonte  and 
Antonia  del  Balzo — Visit  of  Pietro  Bembo — The  collections  of 
the  Grotta — Paintings  and  library  of  Isabella  d'Este — Vittoria 
Colonna — Last  visit  of  Isabella  d'Este  to  Ferrara — Her  love 
for  her  grandchildren — Duke  Ercole  lends  her  his  palace  at 
Venice — Her  last  illness  and  death — Her  tomb  in  S.  Francesco 
destroyed  by  the  French — Death  of  Duke  Federico — The 
Mantuan  collections  sold  and  the  Castello  sacked — Character 
of  Isabella  d'Este. 

In  May,  1537,  Leonora,  Duchess  of  Urbino  arrived 
unexpectedly  at  Mantua,  to  the  great  satisfaction  of 
Isabella,  who  wrote  on  the  30th  to  tell  her  son,  Fer- 
rante,  that  he  alone  of  all  her  children  was  absent 
from  this  family  meeting.  "  The  news  which  I  have 
to  give  you  of  myself  to-day  is  that  for  the  present  I 
am  quite  well,  and  all  the  happier  because  I  have  the 
unexpected  delight  of  enjoying  the  presence  not  only 
of  Monsignore  Reverendissimo  (her  son,  Cardinal  Er- 
cole), but  of  our  dear  Duchess  of  Urbino,  who  arrived 
here  three  days  ago,  and  from  what  she  says  herself, 
as  well  as  from  her  appearance,  seems  to  be  in  the 
best  of  health." 

Leonora  came  from  Venice,  where  her  husband  had 
just  been  appointed  Captain-General  of  the  combined 
armies  of  the  Emperor,  the  Pope,  the  Signoria,  and 
was  to  lead  the  forces  of  the  League  against  the 



Turks.  Here  the  Duke  and  Duchess  both  sat  to 
Titian  for  the  noble  portraits  which  may  be  seen 
to-day  in  the  Uffizi,  and  which  Pietro  Aretino  cele- 
brated in  two  sonnets  addressed  to  Vittoria  Colonna. 
Both  paintings  are  masterpieces  of  their  kind,  and  the 
olive  tones  of  Francesco  Maria's  face,  his  martial  air 
and  gleaming  armour  form  a  fine  contrast  to  his 
wife's  refined  grace  and  rich  brocades.  Here  at  least 
there  is  no  attempt  to  hide  the  ravages  which  time 
and  trouble  had  wrought  on  Leonora's  once  lovely 
face.  The  charms  and  graces  of  youth  are  gone,  and 
the  Duchess,  we  are  reminded,  is  already  a  grand- 
mother and  a  matron  of  seven  -  and  -  forty  years. 
Within  a  year  she  was  a  widow,  for  on  the  22nd  of 
October,  1538,  Francesco  Maria  died  very  suddenly 
at  Pesaro. 

Death,  which  had  already  carried  off  most  of 
Isabella's  contemporaries,  was  now  busy  with  the 
younger  generation.  On  All  Souls'  Day,  1535, 
only  a  year  and  a  half  after  his  marriage,  her  nephew 
Francesco,  Duke  of  Milan,  died  and  the  grave  closed 
over  the  last  prince  of  the  great  house  of  Sforza. 
Nearer  home,  among  the  Gonzaga  princes,  there 
had  of  late  been  many  deaths.  The  venerable 
Antonia  del  Balzo  had  already  lost  two  of  her 
sons,  the  brave  Federico  da  Bozzolo  and  Pirro, 
who,  with  his  wife,  Camilla  Bentivoglio,  had  long 
held  a  brilliant  court  at  Gazzuolo.  A  sadder  and 
more  unexpected  blow  was  the  death  of  the  gallant 
Luigi  Rodomonte,  who  died  at  Vicovaro  in  Decem- 
ber, 1532,  of  a  wound  received  in  fighting  against 
the  Orsini,  leaving  one  child  of  a  year  old.  This 
little  boy,  the  sole  issue  of  his  father's  romantic 
marriage,  bore  his  grandfather's  name  of  Vespasiano, 


and  afterwards  became  famous  as  the  ruler  of  Sab- 
bioneta,  where  the  splendour  of  his  court  rivalled 
that  of  Mantua,  and  won  for  this  little  city  the  title 
of  the  new  Athens.  The  loss  of  her  beloved  grand- 
son in  the  flower  of  his  age  was  a  grievous  blow  to 
Luigi's  aged  grandmother.  She  never  rallied  fiom  the 
shock,  but  lingered  on  till  the  summer  of  1538,  when 
she  passed  away  at  the  great  age  of  ninety-seven, 
deeply  lamented  by  the  subjects  over  whom  she  had 
reigned  so  long,  and  widely  honoured  as  the  mother 
of  a  long  Une  of  heroic  sons  and  beautiful  daughters. 

The  Duchess  of  Urbino  left  Mantua  in  June, 
1537,  and  never  saw  her  mother  again.  Soon  after 
her  departure,  Isabella  received  a  visit  from  an  old 
friend,  whom  she  had  not  seen  for  many  years.  This 
was  none  other  than  Pietro  Bembo,  the  last  survivor 
of  the  old  Urbino  group.  The  distinguished  human- 
ist, who  now  rarely  left  the  sweet  solitude  of  his 
country  home,  and  preferred  watching  the  swallows 
circling  in  the  blue  air  and  the  tender  green  of  the 
climbing  vines  to  all  the  pomp  of  the  Imperial  Court, 
came  to  Mantua  once  more  that  summer.  "The 
Magnifico  Bembo  has  arrived  here,"  wrote  the 
Castellan,  Gian  Giacomo  Calandra,  "to  pay  his 
respects  to  the  Duke,  and  visit  Madama  Illustris- 
sima,  and  to  see  all  their  Excellencies'  fine  places."  ^ 

After  his  return  to  Padua,  Bembo  wrote  to  tell 
the  Duchess  of  Urbino  how  much  he  had  missed 
her  at  Mantua,  where  he  spent  five  or  six  days 
very  happily  with  the  Marchesa,  seeing  all  the 
wonderful  new  halls  and  paintings  of  the  ducal 
palaces.  There  was  much  to  excite  his  admiration, 
both  in  the  Castello  itself  and  in  the  Duke's  new 

1  V,  Cian  in  Giom.  Ster.,  1887, 

VISIT   OF   BEMBO  377 

Palazzo  del  T^,  with  all  Messer  Giulio's  frescoes 
and  decorations.  There  was  the  Palazzina,  where 
the  young  Duchess  lived,  and  the  superb  Sala  di 
Troja,  which  Messer  Giuho  had  just  completed  in  the 
new  wing  of  the  Corte  Vecchia,  and  for  which  Titian 
was  painting  his  great  series  of  the  Twelve  Caesars. 
There  were  the  Marchesa's  own  rooms,  the  new 
apartment  of  the  Paradiso  with  its  charming  decora- 
tions, and  the  lovely  view  over  the  lakes  and  the 
green  slopes  of  Virgil's  home.  And  there  was  the 
fair  Cortile  of  the  Grotta,  with  its  slender  marble 
columns  and  pavement  of  majolica  tiles,  each  with 
a  separate  device  and  meaning,  and  the  adjoining 
Studio  with  its  priceless  treasures  of  painting  and 
sculpture.  Many  were  the  new  pictures  and  marbles 
which  the  Marchesa  had  to  show  her  old  friend, 
many  the  precious  objects  with  which  she  had 
enriched  her  collection  since  the  first  visit  which 
Bembo  had  paid  to  Mantua  thirty  years  before. 
Here,  in  marked  contrast  to  the  noble  severity  of 
Mantegna's  grisailles  and  the  classical  beauty  of  his 
Parnassus,  were  the  graceful  allegories  of  Correggio, 
with  their  softly-rounded  forms  and  dainty  grace, 
the  last  word  which  the  Renaissance  had  to  say 
before  the  fatal  age  of  decadence  set  in.  Here 
were  the  brightly-coloured  dreams  of  Lorenzo  Costa, 
the  old  Court-painter,  who  had  only  ended  his  long 
life  two  years  before,  and  the  Holy  Family  by  his 
fi'iend,  Gian  Bellini,  and  those  quaint  fancies  in 
which  the  Ferrara  master,  Dosso  Dossi,  seems 
to  have  caught  the  very  breath  of  old  romance. 
Here  above  all  were  Titian's  magnificent  creations, 
those  unrivalled  portraits,  and  splendid  array  of 
Holy    Families    and    Saints,    painted    in    the   same 


glowing  colours,  with  the  same  exquisite  landscapes, 
bounded  by  the  far  blue  peaks  of  Cadore.  Here, 
side  by  side  with  Mantegna's  beloved  Faustuia,  and 
the  Greek  marbles  which  Fra  Sabba  had  collected 
on  his  distant  cruises  among  the  isles  of  the  Ionian 
seas,  were  the  antiques  which  Isabella  herself  had 
rescued  from  the  wreck  of  Rome,  and  the  sleep- 
ing Cupid  which  had  come  to  take  its  place  by  that 
other  famous  putto  which  Michelangelo's  hands  had 
fashioned,  and  Ceesar  Borgia  had  sent  to  Mantua. 
Here,  too,  among  the  thousands  of  gold  and  silver 
medals,  of  Greek  and  Roman  coins,  and  engraved 
gems  which  were  arranged  in  cases  and  cabinets 
along  the  walls  of  the  Grotta,  Bembo  saw  Cristo- 
foro  Romano's  medal  of  Isabella  herself,  as  he  re- 
membered the  Marchesa  in  the  flower  of  youth 
and  beauty.  This  admirable  work  is  still  preserved 
in  the  Imperial  Gallery  at  Vienna,  with  the  same 
rich  setting  of  enamel  and  precious  gems  that  is 
described  in  the  Inventory  of  1542,  where  it  is  men- 
tioned among  the  goods  contained  "in  the  middle 
cabinet  in  the  Grotta  of  Madama,  in  the  Corte 
Vecchia,"  as  follows :  "  A  gold  medal  with  Her 
Highness's  efligy  when  she  was  young,  bearing  the 
word  Isabella  in  letters  of  diamonds,  with  rosettes 
of  red  enamel,  and  a  border  of  blue  and  white 
enamelled  rosettes,  and  on  the  reverse  a  figure  of 
Victory  in  relief."  ^ 

Somewhere  too,  among  the  pictures  hung  on  the 
walls  of  the  Castello,  Bembo  found  his  own  portrait 
set  in  a  small  frame  of  carved  walnut,  side  by  side 
with  those  of  his  old  master.  Pope  Leo  X.,  and  the 
German  reformers,  Martin  Luther  and  Erasmus  of 

1  V.  Cian  in  Giom.  Stor.,  1S87.     See  vol.  i.  p.  170. 

[Photo,  Fremi,  Mantua. 


[To  face  p.  378,  vol.  ii. 

PORTRAITS   AND   BRONZES         379 

Rotterdam.^  This  curiously  assorted  group  of  por- 
traits is  mentioned  in  an  Inventory  of  Duke  Fe- 
derico's  pictures  found  at  Casale  after  his  death, 
and  probably  belonged  to  his  mother,  who  had  been 
intimate  with  at  least  two  of  the  group,  and  had 
heard  much  of  Luther  and  Erasmus  from  her 
friend  Chiericati. 

But  paintings  and  sculpture  were  not  the  only 
treasures  which  Isabella's  Grotta  contained.  There 
was  the  alabaster  organ  which  Castighone  had 
sent  from  Rome  with  so  much  toil  and  trouble. 
There  were  Lorenzo  da  Pavia's  viols  and  lutes  of 
inlaid  ivory  and  ebony,  and  her  sister  Beatrice's 
sweet-toned  organ,  and  Caradosso's  wonderful  ebony 
inkstand,  adorned  with  silver  statuettes  and  re- 
liefs. There  were  antique  bronzes,  figures  of  ala- 
baster and  jasper,  cabinets  of  porphyry  and  lapis- 
lazuli,  Murano  glass  of  deHcate  tints  and  rare 
workmanship,  precious  vases,  such  as  these  which 
Isabella  asked  Leonardo  to  choose  from  Lorenzo 
dei  Medici's  collection,  and  crystal  mirrors  set  in 
rubies  and  diamonds  and  pearls,  one  of  which  was 
valued  at  the  enormous  sum  of  100,000  ducats.* 

Of  still  greater  interest  in  the  Venetian  scholar's 
eyes  were  the  rare  books  and  manuscripts  in  the  Mar- 
chesa's  hbrary  of  the  Grotta.  Her  own  love  for  these 
had  never  changed,  and  only  a  year  before,  she  had 
succeeded  in  obtaining  a  copy  of  the  history  of 
Josephus  in  the  original  from  Venice.  How  eagerly 
Bembo's  eyes  must  have  scanned  the  shelves  where 
his  own  Asolani  stood  among  the  presentation  copies 
of  works  by  Uving  poets,  the  Orlandos  of  Ariosto  and 

1  V.  Cian,  op.  cit. 

2  D'Arco,  Arte  e  Artefici,  vol.  ii  l6l. 


Boiardo,  the  sonnets  and  canzoni  of  Pistoja  and 
Niccolo  da  Correggio  !  V\^ith  what  keen  delight  he 
must  have  turned  over  the  pages  of  illuminated 
manuscripts  of  Petrarch  and  Boccaccio,  and  examined 
these  curious  Books  of  Fortune  and  Dreams  on  which 
the  cultured  ladies  of  those  days  set  so  much  store  1 
He  must  have  looked  with  even  greater  reverence 
on  the  rare  copy  of  Eustathius  which  Pope  Clement 
VII.  sent  to  borrow  in  1525,  because  the  Greek 
scholar  Lascaris  had  told  Alberto  Pio  that  Isabella's 
manuscript  was  the  most  correct  version  in  existence.^ 
The  Revelations  of  St.  Bridget  and  Prayers  of  St. 
Catherine  were  probably  less  to  the  scholar's  taste, 
but  we  wonder  if  he  paused  to  glance  at  Savonarola's 
Sermons,  or  at  the  Commentary  on  the  Fifty-first 
Psalm  which  the  gi-eat  Dominican  had  written  in 
prison.^  More  familiar  to  Bembo's  eyes  were  the 
Aldine  classics,  which  had  been  mostly  produced 
under  his  own  direction,  and  of  which  the  Mar- 
chesa  we  know  possessed  a  complete  set.  Here  too 
was  her  choice  collection  of  French  and  Spanish  ro- 
mances, and  of  Latin  translations  from  Greek  authors. 
Among  these  Bembo  found  the  famous  Icones  of 
Philostratus  which  had  supplied  the  greatest  Vene- 
tian painters  with  subjects  for  some  of  their  finest 
works,  and  which  Isabella  lent  to  her  brother 
Alfonso,  when  Titian  was  painting  his  Bacchanals 
in  the  Castello  of  Ferrara.  In  the  same  haU 
Bembo  saw  the  terrestrial  and  celestial  globes  which 
had  been  made  after  the  pattern  of  those  in  the 
Vatican  library,  and  the  Mappamondo  which  con- 
tained   the     latest    discoveries    of    Columbus    and 

1  Bibliufilo,  i.  26. 

2  Ibid.,  ix.  71-86. 

THE    WISEST   OF   WOMEN  381 

Vasco   da   Gama,  as  well   as  Pigafetti's   still   more 
recent  account  of  Magellan's  expedition.     Here  too 
he  found  the  collection  of  poems  on  the  death  of  Isa- 
bella's pet  dog  Aura,  to  which  so  many  of  his  Roman 
friends  had  contributed  sonnets  and  epigrams,   and 
the  latest  volumes  of  Pasquino's  witticisms  in  prose 
and  verse,  which  the  Marchesa  had  received  from 
Rome.      So  wide  and  varied  were  the  contents  of 
this    Hbrary    which    Isabella    had    collected    during 
the  last  fifty   years,  and  which  it  was   her   delight 
to  study  with  scholars  as  learned  as  Bembo.     How 
they    must    have    talked  —  this    accomplished    lady 
who  had  acquired  the  reputation  of  speaking  Latin 
better    than    any   other   woman    of    her    day,    and 
the   old  humanist  whom  she  loved  "as  dearly  as  a 
brother."      What  memories  of  the  past  they  must 
have  summoned   up   as   they   sat    together    among 
their  favourite  books  and  pictures  in  the  cool  halls 
of  the  Grotta  and  the  Paradiso,  or  spent  the  long 
summer  evenings  in  the  green  shades  of  beautiful 
Porto  I     How  many  famihar  names  must  have  been 
recalled — how  many  vanished  faces  must  have  risen 
before  their  eyes,  as   they  looked  back  on  the  old 
days,  and  the  great  age  which  was  fast  passing  away  1 
They  may  have  met  once  more  in  the  autumn  of  the 
following  year  at  Venice,  but  if  Bembo  never  saw 
Isabella  d'Este  again,  the  memory  of  this  last  visit  to 
Mantua  made  a  deep  impression  on  his  mind,  and  in 
a  letter  which  he  wrote  soon  afterwards  to  her  son. 
Cardinal  Ercole,  he  pronounced  the  illustrious  Mar- 
chesa to  be  at  once  the  wisest  and  most  fortunate  of 
women.  ^ 

Another  old  friend  of  Bembo  spent  that  summer 

^  V.  Cian,  op.  cit. 


at  Ferrara,  and  was  iirirently  pressed  by  the  IMarehesa 
and  her  sons  to  visit  Mantua.  This  was  Vittoria 
Colonna,  who  came  to  visit  Duchess  Ren(5e,  and 
stood  sponsor  in  June  to  her  new-born  daughter,  the 
Leonora  of  Tasso's  love.i  One  great  object  of  the 
Marchesa  di  Pescara's  journey  was  to  introduce  the 
gi-eat  preacher  Fra  Bernardino  Ochino  to  her  friends 
at  Ferrara,  and  to  obtain  Duke  Ercole's  protection 
for  his  new  Order  of  Reformed  Friars.  In  Lent,  1535, 
Agostino  Gonzaga  had  sent  Isabella  a  long  letter 
from  Rome,  describing  the  enthusiasm  which  the 
Friar's  sermons  were  exciting  in  Rome.  "  He  is  a 
man  of  most  holy  life  himself,  and  his  sermons  are  all 
devoted  to  the  exposition  of  the  Gospels.  His  whole 
object  is  to  teach  men  how  to  walk  in  the  steps  of 
Christ,  and  he  has  the  most  admirable  fervour,  as  well 
as  a  most  perfect  voice.  He  is  not  afraid  of  saying 
what  is  good  for  his  hearers,  and  aims  his  rebukes 
chiefly  at  those  in  high  station,  so  that  all  Rome 
flocks  to  hear  him.  The  Reverendissimo  Medici  is 
never  absent  from  his  sermons,  and  most  of  the 
Sacred  College  are  to  be  seen  here.  My  Reveren- 
dissimo (Ercole  Gonzaga)  has  been  here  twice,  and  was 
beyond  measure  delighted  with  the  sermons  which  he 
heard,  so  I  think  he  will  continue  to  attend  the 
course."  In  the  same  letter  Agostino  tells  Isabella 
*•  that  the  Marchesa  di  Pescara  is  always  present  at 
these  sermons,  and  is  living  in  seclusion  with  the 
Sisters  of  S.  Silvestro,  receiving  no  visits,  and  wearing 
the  humblest  of  habits,  and  is  so  devoted  to  religious 
exercises  that  it  is  expected  she  will  soon  take  the 
veil."*      Vittoria  Colonna   wrote   herself  to   Ercole 

^  Frizzi,  Storia  di  Ferrara,  iv.  p,  321. 
2  Luzio,  liivista  Mantovana,  i.  26. 

AT   FERRARA  383 

Gonzaga  from  Ferrara,  asking  him  to  give  his 
sanction  to  the  new  Order  founded  by  Fra  Ber- 
nardino, in  whose  teaching  she  saw  "  a  return  to  the 
true  and  holy  life  of  St.  Francis."  On  the  18th  of 
June  the  young  Cardinal  answered  her  letter,  begging 
her  to  come  to  Mantua,  and  assuring  her  that  she 
would  find  far  more  spiritual  and  temporal  delights  in 
this  city  than  at  Ferrara.  There  is  a  hospital  Delia 
Misericordia,  which  would,  he  is  certain,  abundantly 
satisfy  her  charitable  zeal,  and  the  Duke  and  all  his 
family  would  rejoice  to  welcome  her.  Besides 
which,  he  continues,  '*  this  city  is  more  Imperial  in 
its  sympathies  than  the  Emperor  itself,  and  more 
devoted  to  the  Marchese  del  Vasto  than  any  other  in 
Lombardy,  all  of  which  seems  to  claim  the  honour  of 
your  presence.  And  I  can  promise  you  the  company 
of  my  two  sisters,  who  are  nuns,  in  whose  society 
you  will  find  as  much  consolation  as  you  would  have 
found  in  the  company  of  the  Holy  Women  who 
stood  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross  on  Calvary."  In  a 
postscript,  the  writer  adds  "  that  in  his  joy  at  the 
thought  of  seeing  her,  and  his  longing  to  enjoy  her 
sweet  conversation,  he  sees  that  he  has  forgotten  to 
answer  her  question  about  Fra  Bernardino."  ^ 

Another  inducement  which  Ercole  held  out  to 
the  Marchesa  di  Pescara,  was  the  prospect  of  the 
Council  which  Pope  Paul  III.  had  summoned  to 
meet  in  that  city.  But  the  Duke  afterwards  raised 
objections,  and  the  idea  was  eventually  abandoned. 
Vittoria,  on  her  part,  intended  to  visit  Venice,  and 
had  dreams  of  a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land,  or  to 
the  shrine  of  St.  Mary  Magdalene  in  Provence,  but 
in  the  end  she  remained  with  her  beloved  Duchess 

^  G.  Campori,  Alti  e  Meinurie,  iii.  pt.  ii.  p.  8. 


at  Ferrara.  That  Lent,  Fra  Bernardino  Ochino 
preached  a  course  of  sermons  in  the  Duomo,  and 
within  the  last  few  months  Ren^e  had  received  both 
Clement  Marot  and  Calvin  at  her  court,  but  now 
Duke  Ercole,  in  his  anxiety  to  distract  his  wife's 
thoughts  from  these  subjects,  gave  a  series  of  fetes 
and  tournaments  in  honour  of  his  illustrious  guests. 
Another  very  different  lady,  Tullia,  the  illegitimate 
daughter  of  the  Cardinal  of  Aragon,  was  also  at 
Ferrara  that  summer,  and  charmed  all  the  Este 
princes  as  she  had  charmed  the  Cardinals  in  Rome 
and  the  ambassadors  of  the  Imperial  Court  at  Bologna. 
Ippolito  dei  Medici  wrote  sonnets  in  her  praise,  and 
all  the  wits  and  scholars  of  the  day  were  at  her  feet. 
Stabellino's  letters  to  Isabella  are  full  of  Tullia's 
charms.  "  Your  Excellency,"  he  wrote  in  June,  1537, 
"will  have  heard  that  a  noble  Roman  lady,  called 
Signora  Tullia,  is  spending  some  months  here.  She  is 
very  gentle,  discreet  and  clever,  and  endowed  with  the 
rarest  gifts  of  body  and  mind.  She  sings  all  manner 
of  songs,  reads  music  at  sight,  and  her  conversation 
is  altogether  unique,  while  her  manners  are  so 
charming,  that  there  is  neither  a  man  nor  a  woman 
here  who  can  hold  a  candle  to  her,  not  even  the 
Most  Illustrious  Marchesa  di  Pescara.  This  lady 
knows  everything,  and  is  ready  to  talk  with  others 
on  any  subject  they  may  choose.  Her  house  is  fuU 
of  the  most  learned  men,  and  the  doors  are  open  to 
all,  but  she  is  abundantly  supplied  with  money  and 
jewels,  and  has  in  fact  everything  that  she  requires."  ^ 
Vittoria  Colonna  was  still  at  Ferrara  when,  after 
Christmas,  Isabella  paid  her  usual  visit  to  Ercole's 
court,  and  attended  the  Carnival  fetes.     On  the  23rd 

^  Luzio,  Eivista  MaiUovana,  i.  33. 


of  February,  1538,  she  took  leave  of  her  hosts,  and 
the  Cardinal  of  Ravenna,  Benedetto  Accolti,  wrote 
the  following  letter  to  Ercole  Gonzaga : — 

"  This  morning,  the  Signora  Marchesa  di  Pescara 
started  for  Bologna,  to  the  incredible  grief  of  His 
Excellency  the  Duke,  of  myself,  and  of  the  whole 
city.  We  have  indeed  been  divinely  entertained  by 
her  presence,  and  can  only  comfort  ourselves  with  the 
promises  which  she  has  made  to  return  before  long. 
Last  night  we  enjoyed  a  rare  treat.  The  Duke  and 
I,  as  well  as  the  Marchesa,  supped  with  your  most 
Illustrious  Mother,  and  after  supper  the  Marchesa 
read  us  five  sonnets  of  her  composition,  which  were 
so  beautiful  that  I  do  not  think  an  angel  from  heaven 
could  have  written  anything  more  perfect.  After 
these  recitations,  which  gave  us  all  infinite  pleasure, 
the  ladies  of  Madama,  your  mother,  appeared,  and 
with  them  Signora  Anna,  who  played  some  pieces 
on  the  graviccmhalo  excellently.  Then  Morgantino 
came  in  with  Deha,  and  jumped  and  danced  together, 
and  did  great  things  with  their  little  persons. 
Signora  Anna  then  joined  them,  and  danced  several 
dances  alia  gagliarda,  which  gave  the  Marchesa  di 
Pescara,  and  the  Duke,  and  every  one,  the  greatest 
pleasure.  We  were  all  of  us  convinced,  that  if  the 
Goddess  Nature  herself  had  danced  before  us,  she 
could  not  have  danced  in  more  perfect  time,  and  with 
more  exquisite  grace."  ^ 

Signora  Anna  was  the  Duke's  six-year-old  daugh- 
ter, the  bright  and  intelligent  httle  girl  who  resembled 
her  great  aunt  so  strongly,and  had  evidently  inherited 
the  Marchesa's  musical  tastes.  All  Duchess  Renee's 
children  were  trained  to  act   and  dance  before  the 

^  G.  Campori,  Atti  e  Memorie,  iii.  pt.  ii.  p.  12. 
VOL.  II.  2  B 


illustrious  guests  who  visited  their  father's  court. 
When,  a  few  years  later,  Pope  Paul  III.  came  to 
Ferrara,  they  acted  a  Latin  comedy,  the  Adelphi  of 
Terence,  for  the  amusement  of  His  HoUness,  Anna 
taking  the  lover's  part  on  this  occasion,  and  her 
youngest  brother  Luigi,  a  child  of  four,  appearing  in 
the  part  of  a  slave.  ^ 

Soon  after  this  festive  evening,  which  had  given 
her  guests  so  much  pleasure,  Isabella  returned  to 
Mantua  and  spent  the  summer  quietly  at  home. 
We  catch  one  pleasant  glimpse  of  her  in  a  letter 
addressed  to  Duke  Federico,  in  which  she  dwells 
with  all  a  grandmother's  delight  on  the  charms  and 
cleverness  of  his  children. 

"I  have  just  returned,"  she  wrote,  "from  my 
villa  at  Belfiore,  where  I  spent  some  days,  with  the 
greatest  benefit  to  my  health.  I  may  say,  indeed, 
that  having  gone  there  seriously  indisposed,  I  have 
returned  by  the  grace  of  God  in  good  health. 
Yesterday  I  went  to  the  Castello,  and  visited  the 
Illustrious  Duchess,  your  wife,  and  my  daughter, 
whom  I  found  together  with  the  Marchese  and  the 
other  princes  in  the  best  of  health.  All  I  saw  there 
gave  me  the  greatest  pleasure  and  amusement.  The 
Marchese,  who  is  growing  up  beautiful  as  a  flower, 
recited  thirty  or  forty  lines  from  Virgil,  in  the  pre- 
sence of  his  mother  the  Duchess,  with  a  grace  and 
clearness  which  were  simply  amazing  I  I  saw  Signor 
Gughelmo,  with  his  fat  baby-face  looking  as  innocent 
and  as  merry  as  possible,  and  both  he  and  his  sweet 
sister  Donna  Isabella  are  in  my  eyes  a  picture  of  all 
the  joys  the  world  can  give."^     Two  years  later,  the 

^  Frizzi,  op.  cit, 

'  Luzio  e  Renier,  Giom.  Slor.,  1899,  p.  36. 


little  JVIarchese,  Francesco,  who  could  repeat  Virgil 
at  the  age  of  five,  succeeded  his  father  as  Duke 
of  Mantua,  In  1549  he  married  the  Archduchess 
Catherine  of  Austria,  a  niece  of  Charles  V.,  but  died 
a  few  months  afterwards,  from  a  fever  brought  on  by 
falhng  into  the  lake  when  he  was  shooting  wild-fowl 
from  a  boat."^  Isabella,  who  was  born  in  April, 
1537,  became  the  wife  of  Francesco  d'Avalos,  while 
her  brother  Guglielmo,  then  an  infant  of  a  few 
months,  grew  up  to  manhood,  and  reigned  long  and 
gloriously  over  the  realm  of  the  Gonzagas. 

Already  Isabella  d'Este  watched  her  eldest  son's 
failing  health  with  anxiety,  and  in  a  letter  to  her  old 
friend  Trissino,  who  had  begged  her  intercession  on 
behalf  of  two  gentlemen  of  Verona,  she  speaks  of  the 
Duke  as  seriously  indisposed  and  unable  to  attend  to 
business.  A  month  later  she  persuaded  him  to  ac- 
company her  to  Venice  for  change  of  air,  and  gladly 
accepted  Ercole  d'Este's  offer  of  his  palace  on  the 
Grand  Canal,  which  he  placed  at  her  disposal  during 
the  next  two  months.  This  fine  old  house,  where 
Beatrice  d'Este  once  spent  a  joyous  May-time,  had 
been  thoroughly  restored  and  sumptuously  decorated 
for  the  reception  of  Duchess  Ren^e  when  she  went 
to  Venice  in  1534,  and  Isabella  was  delighted  with 
the  prospect  of  occupying  this  magnificent  palazzo. 
"  We  are  coming  to  Venice,"  she  wrote  to  Benedetto 
AgneUo  on  the  23rd  of  September,  "to  spend  all 
October  there  for  our  amusement,  and  our  nephew 
the  Illustrious  Duke  of  Ferrara  has  kindly  placed  his 
house  at  our  disposal  until  November."^ 

The  Marchesa,  indeed,  was  so  happy  at  Venice, 

1  Litta,  Famiglie,  iii.  tav.  5. 

2  V.  Cian,  op.  cit. 

388         ISABELLA   RETURNS   HOME 

and  was  so  warmly  welcomed  and  honourably  enter- 
tained by  her  friends  in  this  city,  that  she  prolon<^ed 
her  stay  there  until  the  end  of  November.  But 
the  weather  broke  up  before  she  left,  and  the 
journey  back  to  Mantua  proved  too  much  for  her 
failing  strength.  On  the  29th,  she  wrote  to  her 
widowed  daughter  Leonora :  "  My  return  from 
Venice  took  place  in  very  rough  weather,  and  has 
caused  some  disturbance  in  my  system,  so  that  until 
now  I  have  not  ventured  to  leave  my  room,  and  am 
still  in  some  pain."  That  Advent,  Vittoria  Colonna's 
friend,  Fra  Bernardino  Ochino,  preached  a  course 
of  stirring  sermons  at  Mantua,  but  Isabella  was 
unable  to  be  present.  These  gastric  pains,  which 
had  been  the  cause  of  her  mother's  death,  continued 
to  trouble  the  Marchesa  throughout  the  winter,  and 
in  January  she  found  herself  still  too  unwell  to  pay 
her  yearly  visit  to  Ferrara.  But  she  longed  for 
news  of  her  dear  ones  in  the  old  home,  and  listened 
eagerly  to  the  letters  which  told  her  of  the  Duke 
and  Duchess  and  their  little  daughter  Anna.  On 
the  18th  of  January,  Stabellino  wrote  to  ask  after 
her  health,  and  told  her  of  the  latest  Carnival  fetes : 
"  Here  we  are  enjoying  tournaments  and  masquerades 
and  banquets.  Last  night  the  Cardinal  of  Ravenna 
entertained  the  Duke  and  most  of  the  Court  at  the 
Schifanoia  Palace.  A  very  amusing  farce  by  Stras- 
cino  was  performed,  after  which  there  was  dancing 
up  till  ten  o'clock."  ^ 

So  Isabella  drew  slowly  to  her  end,  retaining  full 
possession  of  all  her  faculties,  and  hearing  with  delight 
of  pleasures  which  she  could  no  longer  share.  She 
followed  the  parting  injunctions  of  her  old  favourite, 

^  Fontana,  op.  ciL,  p.  89. 

DIES   AT   MANTUA  389 

Matteo  Bandello,  the  Dominican  story-teller,  and 
lived  joyously  to  the  last.  Four  years  before,  she 
had  made  her  last  will,  in  which  not  only  her  children 
and  ladies-in-waiting,  but  all  her  servants  and  depen- 
dants were  thoughtfully  remembered.  Even  her  pet 
dwarfs,  Morgantino  and  Delia,  were  affectionately 
commended  to  the  care  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess, 
and  provided  with  a  yearly  allowance  of  fifty  ducats 
if  they  would  not  or  could  not  remain  in  her  son's 
service.  Now  she  took  a  tender  farewell  of  the 
children  she  had  loved  so  well,  and  on  the  night  of 
the  13th  of  February  her  great  soul  passed  away. 

"On  the  13th  of  February,  1539,"  writes  the 
chronicler  of  the  Franciscan  convent,  "there  died 
in  Mantua,  Madama  Isabella  d'Este,  or  rather,  it 
should  be  said,  her  soul  took  flight  to  its  eternal 
rest.  She  had  always  been  devout  and  humble  in 
her  lifetime,  and  on  her  deathbed  she  begged  that 
she  might  be  buried  privately,  and  without  any 
pomp,  in  the  grave  of  her  husband  in  Santa  Paola. 
This  was  done,  with  the  tears  and  lamentations  of 
all  the  people."^ 

The  great  Marchesa  was  buried  by  her  husband's 
side  in  the  Cappella  dei  Signori,  in  the  Church  of 
S.  Francesco,  sometimes  called  Santa  Paola,  from 
the  neighbouring  convent  founded  by  the  Marchesa 
Paola,  where  Isabella's  own  daughter  had  taken 
the  veil.  Duke  Federico  ordered  a  noble  tomb  to 
be  raised  to  his  mother's  memory  in  the  sepulchral 
chapel  of  the  Gonzaga  princes.  Before  it  was  com- 
pleted, the  Duke  himself  died,  at  his  favourite  villa 
of  Marmirolo,  on  the  28th  of  June,  1540,  leaving 
his  little  son  Francesco  to  the  guardianship  of  his 

^  Donesmondi,  Storia  Ecclesiastica  di  Mantova. 


brother,  Cardinal  Ercole,  and  his  wife  Margherita. 
He  was  buried,  according  to  his  last  wishes,  by  his 
mother's  side,  in  S.  Francesco.  But  when,  in  1797, 
the  French  took  INIantua  after  a  long  siege,  the 
church,  which  contained  more  than  300  monuments  of 
the  Gonzagas  and  other  noble  families,  was  pillaged. 
Then  the  frescoes  and  paintings  which  adorned  its 
walls  were  ruined,  the  tombs  were  broken  in  pieces, 
and  the  ashes  which  they  contained  were  scattered 
to  the  winds.  To-day  this  once  stately  shrine,  so 
rich  in  historic  memories  and  treasures  of  art,  has 
been  converted  into  a  barrack  school,  and  no  trace  of 
Isabella  d'Este's  last  resting-place  can  now  be  seen. 

The  Castello  suffered  terribly  at  the  hands  of 
the  German  soldiers  who  were  sent  against  Duke 
Carlo  I.  by  the  Emperor  Ferdinand  II.  in  1630, 
and  who  sacked  Mantua  during  three  whole  days. 
A  short  time  before,  Vincenzo  II.  had  sold  the  bulk 
of  his  splendid  gallery  to  our  King  Charles  I.,  while 
the  paintings  by  Mantegna,  Perugino,  and  Costa, 
which  adorned  Isabella's  Grotta,  were  bought  soon 
after  the  siege  by  Cardinal  Richelieu.  The  beautiful 
apartments  which  Isabella  planned  and  adorned  with 
so  much  taste  were  stripped  of  their  decorations, 
and  the  priceless  works  of  art  which  they  contained 
were  all  scattered  abroad.  The  small  number  which 
escaped  destruction  passed  into  foreign  galleries,  and 
a  few  scanty  fragments  of  painting  and  carving,  with 
here  and  there  a  device  or  inscription  bearing  her 
name,  are  the  only  traces  of  Isabella's  presence  that 
now  remain  in  Mantua. 

Fortunately,  the  greater  part  of  her  correspon- 
dence has  survived  the  general  wreck,  and  forms  a 
record  of  more  than   common   value.      These  pre- 

CHARACTER   OF   ISABELLA         391 

cious  manuscripts  of  the  Archivio  Gonzaga  give  us 
a  faithful  picture  of  a  period  that  must  be  for  ever 
memorable  in  the  history  of  the  human  race.  And 
they  reveal,  with  a  fulness  that  leaves  nothing  to 
be  desired,  the  character  of  a  woman  who  was  in 
a  remarkable  degree  typical  of  the  age  in  which 
she  lived.  Both  in  her  faults  and  in  her  virtues,  in 
her  noble  aims  and  generous  ambitions,  in  the 
doubtful  methods  by  which  she  strove  to  attain 
her  ends,  and  in  her  easy  toleration  of  vice  and 
falsehood,  Isabella  d'Este  was  the  child  of  her 
times.  She  did  not  share  the  mystical  tendencies 
of  her  kinswomen,  Vittoria  Colonna  and  Ren^e  de 
France ;  she  belonged  rather  to  the  earlier  genera- 
tion, which  took  the  facts  of  life  more  simply,  and 
accepted  the  faith  of  the  Church  without  question- 
ing, if  without  enthusiasm.  But  a  strong  sense  of 
duty,  a  passionate  devotion  to  home  and  kindred 
governed  her  actions,  and  kept  her  in  the  right 
way.  Her  nature  was  singularly  complete  and 
well-balanced,  and  it  may  be  said  with  truth  that 
she  saw  life  steadily,  and  saw  it  whole.  In  her 
radiant  vitality  and  keen  enjoyment  of  living,  in 
her  worship  of  beauty  and  wide  culture,  in  her  serene 
temper  and  stainless  purity,  this  great-souled  lady 
remains  for  us  the  noblest  and  most  perfect  type  of 
the  Italian  women  of  the  Renaissance. 

Postscript. — Whilst  these  pages  were  going  to  press  the 
missing  portrait  of  Federico  Gonzaga,  painted  by  Francia  in 
July  1510,  when  he  was  a  boy  of  ten,i  has  most  unexpectedly 
come  to  light,  and  was  exhibited  at  the  Burlington  Fine  Arts  Club 
in  1903.  This  picture,  which  Mr.  Herbert  Cook  was  the  first 
to  identify  (see  Atheticeum,  February  7,  1903),  is  the  property  of 

^  As  described  iu  vol.  i.  p.  380, 


Mr.  A.  W.  Leatham,  whose  father  purcliased  it  from  the  Napoleon 
Collection.  It  is  in  remarkably  good  {)reservation,  and  there  can 
be  no  doubt  that  it  is  the  work  of  Francia.  Isabella's  son  is  repre- 
sented holding  a  dagger  in  his  hand,  and  wearing  a  black  doublet 
over  a  white  frilled  chemisette,  and  a  black  cap  set  jauntily  on 
one  side  of  his  head,  with  a  red  riband  fastened  with  the  same 
carved  gold  medallion — perhaps  Caradosso's  work — which  he  wore 
when  Raj)hael  painted  his  portrait  two  years  later  in  Rome.  The 
brown  eyes  and  bright,  intelligent  face  bear  a  marked  likeness  to 
his  mother,  and  the  long  fair  hair  has  evidently  been  darkened, 
as  was  done,  we  know,  at  the  Marchesa's  request,  and  still  shows 
traces  of  the  original  blond  hue  underneath.  The  graceful  land- 
scape background  is  in  Francia's  usual  style ;  the  lights  in  the 
foliage  are  heightened  with  gold,  and  the  want  of  elaboration  in 
the  details  bears  witness  to  the  amazing  rapidity  with  which  the 
portrait  was  painted.  We  are  reminded  of  Isabella's  words  to 
Casio :  "  It  could  not  be  better  or  more  like  hira  than  it  is,  and 
I  marvel  that  in  so  short  a  time  the  master  could  do  so  excellent 
a  thing,  but  it  is  clear  that  he  wished  to  show  all  the  perfections 
of  his  art."  The  long-lost  portrait,  we  know,  left  Mantua  a  year 
and  a  half  later,  and  probably  remained  at  Ferrara  until  it  was 
brought  to  France  among  Napoleon's  spoils.  By  a  strange  coin- 
cidence it  has  been  recovered,  at  the  end  of  four  hundred  years, 
only  a  few  months  after  Titian's  portrait  of  Isabella  herself  has 
once  more  been  brought  to  light. 

February  7,  1908. 


ACCOLTI,  Bernardo,  ii.  10.   jSe«  Aretino 

Accolti,  Pietro,  created  Cardinal,  ii. 

Acerra,  Isabella  del  Balzo,  Countess 
of,  i.  91.   See  Balzo 

Adorno,  Governor  of  Genoa,  i.  64 ; 
portrait  of,  ii.  283 

Adria,  Bishop  of,  i.  194 

Adrian  "VI.  elected  Pope,  ii.  196 ;  sur- 
render of  the  duchv  of  Urbino, 
198  ;  his  reforms,  223  ;  unpopu- 
larity, 223  ;  joins  the  league 
against  France,  231 ;  death,  232 

Adriana,  Madonna,  i.  205 

Aff5,  Vita  di  Luigi  Jiodomonte,  ii. 
308  n. 

Agnello,  Benedetto,  on  Titian,  ii. 
327  ;  on  his  picture  of  the  Mag- 
dalen, 328  ;  on  the  floods,  342 

Agnes,  Church  of  St.,  ii.  59 

Agnesina,  Madonna,  i.  181 

Albano,  baths  of,  ii.  344 

Albano,  Piero,  i.  75 

Albano,  Taddeo,  i.  75,  78,  360,  389 

Alberi,  Relazioni  Venete,  ii.  125  n. 

Alberino,  Marcello,  on  the  revels  held 
on  May-day,  ii.  246 ;  Diarii,  246  n. 

Alberti,  Leo  Battista,  dedication  of 
his  "  Treatise  on  Painting,"  i.  20  ; 
his  architectural  designs,  26 ;  at 
Mantua,  34 

Albret,  Charlotte  d',  her  marriage,  i. 
152 ;  betrothal  of  her  daughter, 

Aldine  Classics,  ii.  21 

Alexander  VI. ,  Pope,  presents  Fran- 
cesco Gonzaga  with  the  golden 
rose,  i.  137  ;  on  the  marriage  of 
his  daughter,  192  ;  his  illness,  253; 
death,  253,  256 

Alidosi,  Cardinal,  ii.  36 

Aliprando,  ii.  214 

Altamura,  Pirro,  Prince  of,  i.  47 

Alvarez,  Grand  Marshal  Don,  ii.  299 

Alvisi,  Ccesar  Borgia,  i.  232  n. 

Amadori,  Alessandro,  i.  326 

Amboise,  Cardinal  d",  i.  152,  178 

Amboise,  Charles  d',  i.  284 

Amboise,  Georpje  d',  i.  255 

Amboise,  ii.  125 

Ambrogio,  Messer,  i.  4 

Amedei,  the  Mantuan  Chronicler,  i 

Ancona,  i.  108,  138 

Ancona,  D',  Originidel  Teatro  Italiano, 
i.  87  n.,  262  n.,  264  n.,  271  n.,  287  n. ; 
ii.  82  «.,  132 n.,  188 n.,  291  n,,  349n., 
363  n. 

Andes,  i.  22 

Andrea,  Church  of  S.,  i.  26 

Andreassi,  Osanna  dei,  the  Domini- 
can nun,  i.  79  ;  prophetic  gifts,  79. 
See  Osanna 

Andreassi,  Paolo,  ii.  327 

Angeli,  Teodora  degli,  i.  58 

Anichino,  his  genius  for  engraving 
gems,  i.  74 

Anjou,  Charles  of,  L  47 

Anspach,  i.  29 

Antimaco,  the  Chancellor,  i.  127 

Apuleius's  poem,  L'Asino  d'Oro,  i.  41 

Aquapendente,  i.  249 

Aquila,  Messer  Sebastiano  d',  ii,  1 

Aragon,  Federico  of,  ex  -  king  of 
Naples,  i,  235 

Aragon,  Ferdinand  of,  in  possession 
of  Southern  Italy,  i.  263 

Aragon,  Infanta  Giulia  of,  her  be- 
trothal, ii.  326,  330  ;  marriage,  351 

Aragon,  Isabella  of,  i.  150;  ii.  114; 
at  Mantua,  i.  154 

Aragon,  Tullia  of,  at  Ferrara,  ii.  384 

Archano,  Girolamo,  ii.  97 

Arco,  D',  Arch.  St.  It.,  i.  166  n.,  199 
n. ;  ii.  75  n.,  129  n.,  238  n.,  321  n. ; 
Arte  t  Artefici,  i.  158  n.,  290  n., 
291  n.,  293  n.,  328  n.,  353  n.,  364  n.; 
ii.  6  n.,  206  n.,  230  n.,  274  n.,  379  n.; 
Notizie  d'lsahdla  d'Este,  i.  17  n., 
46  n.,  236  n.,  247  n.,  252  n.,  271  n., 
272  n.,  27 i  n.,  281  n.,  314  n.;  ii. 
115  n.,  194  n.,  267  n.,  344  n. 

Aretino,  L'Unico,  practical  joke  on, 
ii.  10 ;  his  vanity,  110  ;  trick  upon 
him,  111 

Aretino,  Pietro,  ii.  245 ;  portrait  of, 
283  ;  Lettere,  350  n. ;  sonnets,  376 

Arezzo,  surrender  of,  ii.  295 

Argentina,  Madonna,  i.  279 

Ariosto,  Messer  Lodovico,  i.  82,  205  ; 
his  elegy  on  the  death  of  Duchess 
Leonora,  103  ;  at  Mantua,  293  ;  his 




Orlando  Furioso,  203,  ii.  34fi  ;  sent 
to  appease  the  Pope,  63 ;  Cassaria, 
293  ;  bis  death,  347 

Aristotle,  portrait-medal  of,  ii.  370 

Armagh,  ii.  177 

Armaria,  Bernardus  del,  i.  289 

Armellini,  Cardinal,  at  the  siege  of 
Rome,  ii.  259 

Ars,  Mons.  Louis  d',  i.  185 ;  his  defeat 
at  Cerignola,  250 

Asola,  ii.  27 

Asolo,  i.  224 

Assisi,  i.  109,  180 

Asti,  i.  113;  ii.  6i,  1.35 

Astorga,  Marquis,  ii.  299 ;  at  the 
coronation  of  Charles  V.,  313,  315 

Astrology,  belief  in,  ii.  33 

Atella,  surrender  of,  i.  136 

Atri,  Jacopo  d'.  Count  of  Pianella,  i. 
84 ;  letter  to,  91  ;  on  the  statue  to 
Virgil,  174  ;  presented  with  a  medal 
of  Isabella  d'Este,  ii.  12  ;  on  the  con- 
trast between  the  Queen  of  France 
and  the  Italian  princesses,  39 

Aubigny,  Mons.  d',  at  Mantua,  i.  112 

Augsburg,  i.  24 

Aura,  death  of  the  dog,  ii.  55 

Aurelio,  Zoan,  his  verses,  ii.  29 

Austria,  Margaret  of,  ii.  293 

Auton,  Jean  d',  i.  296 

AuTergne,  Madeleine  de  la  Tour  d', 
ii.  159.     See  Caterina  dei  Medici 

Avalos,  Alfonso  d',  Marchese  del 
Vasto,  ii.  311.     See  Vasto 

Avignon,  ii.  124 

Babsso,  Alessandro  da,  i.  120,  166, 
217,237;  ii.  143 

Baglioni,  Giov.,  surrender  of,  i.  246 

Bagnolo,  treaty  concluded  at,  i.  2 

Baldo,  Monte,  ii.  107 

Balzo,  Antonia  del,  i.  282  ;  ii.  94,  134  ; 
her  marriage,  i.  47 ;  intimacy  with 
Isabella  d'Este,  48  ;  her  taste  for 
French  romances,  77  ;  death  of  her 
husband,  140 ;  marriage  of  her 
daughter,  il.  147 

Balzo,  Isabella  del,  Countess  of 
Acerra,  i.  91  ;  ii.  306 

Bandello,  Matteo,  i.  135  ;  ii.  135,  140 ; 
at  the  Dominican  convent  of  Man- 
tua, 141 ;  his  gift  of  story-telling, 
141 ;  relations  with  Isabella  d'Este 
and  pictures  of  the  Court,  142-150  ; 
testimonial  of  his  character,  150; 
oration  in  memory  of  the  Marquis 
of  Mantua,  151  ;  condolences,  152; 
Novelle,  203  n.,  217  n. ;  on  the  evil 
influence  of  Isabella  Boschetti,  240 

Barbarigo,  Agostino,  Doge  of  Venice, 
i.  100 

Barbaro,  Zaccarla,  i.  58 

Barbo,  Messer  Paolo,  i.  223 

Barcelona,  entry  into,  ii.  182  ;  Treaty 
of,  293 

Bardi,  Giovanni  dei,  on  the  discovery 
of  the  New  World,  i.  95 

Bari,  Duchess  of,  i.  48.  See  Beatrice 

Bari,  Francesco,  Duke  of,  popularity 
with  the  Milanese,  ii.  93 

Barone,  the  jester,  i.  147 

Baschet,  A.,  Aide  Manuce,  ii.  23  n., 
27  n. ;  Archivio  Oonzaga,  i.  28  n., 
34  n.,  40  n. ;  Arch.  St.  It.,  ii.  245  n. 

Bavaria,  Margaret  of,  her  marriage, 
i.  30 ;  appearance,  30 

Bavaria,  Philip,  Duke  of,  at  the  coro- 
nation of  Charles  V.,  ii.  315 

Bavaria,  Sigismund,  Duke  of,  i.  100 ; 
marriage  of  his  daughter  Margaret, 

Beccagnto,  Alesaio,  ii.  127 

Beccaro,  Vittore,  i.  390 

Belfiore,  i.  2 

Bellay,  Du,  French  ambassador  at 
Rome,  ii.  255 

Bellini,  Gentile,  i.  100,  341  ;  his  por- 
traits, 100 

Bellini,  Giovanni,  i.  163,  223;  frescoes 
in  the  Council  Hall  at  Venice,  100, 
ii.  229  ;  on  a  map  of  Paris,  i.  107  ; 
commission  to  paint  a  picture  for 
the  Grotta,  341  ;  reluctance  to 
undertake  the  Storia,  343 ;  refusal 
to  restore  the  money,  345,  349 ; 
order  for  a  Nativity,  346 ;  portrait 
of  Loredano,  349  ;  apology  for  his 
delay,  350 ;  completion  of  the 
Nativity,  351 ;  order  for  a  Storia, 

Bellini,  Jacopo,  i.  2,  101,  341 

Bello,  Francesco,  the  blind  improvi- 
satore,  i.  11,  47 

Belriguardo,  i.  12,  265 

Beltraffio,  i.  150 

Belvedere  Apollo,  ii.  45 

Belvedere  Palace,  ii.  287 

Belvedere,  villa  of,  i.  265 

Bembo,  Pietro,  i.  49,  271;  ii.  48; 
secretary  to  Pope  Leo  X.,  i.  269; 
sonnets,  272,  273  ;  at  Mantua,  272, 
ii.  376  ;  letter  to  Isabella  d'Este,  i. 
273  ;  his  efforts  to  induce  Bellini 
to  paint  a  Storia,  354  ;  his  A$olani, 
ii.  13  ;  on  the  presence  of  Isabella 
in  Rome,  116 ;  his  devotion  to 
Camilla  Gonzaga,  247  ;  tribute  to 
the  memory  of  Elisabetta,  250  ;  on 
the  ruin  of  Rome,  270  ;  at  Bologna, 

Benedetto.  Convent  of  S.,  ii.  326 



Benintendi,  Filippo,  i.  279 

Bentivoglio,  Alessandro,  i.  374 

Bentivoglio,  Count  Annibale,  i.  57,  71, 
112;  his  marriage,  13 

Bentivoglio,  Messer  Antonio  Galeazzo, 
i.  372 

Bentivoglio,  Giovanni,  i.  13,  17 ;  his 
flight,  284,  292 ;  at  Mantua,  292 

Bentivoglio,  Laura,  i.  148 ;  her  wed- 
ding, 58  ;  on  her  visit  to  Lucrezia 
Borgia,  214  ;  her  death,  ii.  232.  See 

Bentivoglio,  Lucrezia,  i.  112,  205 

Bentivoglio,  Violante,  i.  374 

Berenson,  B.,  i.  79  n.  ;  "  The  Draw- 
ings of  Mantegna,"  162  n. 

Bergamo,  Fra  Damiano  da,  ii.  320 

Bergenroth  Calendar,  ii.  195  n. 

Berghet,  G.,  Funti  Ital.  per  la  Storia 
della  Seoperta  del  Nuovo  Mondo,  i. 
96  n. 

Beroaldo,  Filippo,  his  verses  on  the 
dog  Aura,  ii.  56 ;  ode  on  Federico, 

Bert,  Mons.  Philippo,  French  Am- 
bassador, i.  204 ;  entertained  by- 
Isabella  D'Este,  209;  gifts  to  the 
bride,  211 

Bertolotti,  A.,  Arch.  St.  Lomh.,  ii,  367 
n.  ;  Artisti  bolognesi,  i.  380  n.  ;  ii.  2 
n.,  207  n.,  366  «.,  370  n. ;  Za  Nu^ca 
alia  Corte  dei  Oonzaga,  i.  10  n. 

Bettinelli,  Abbot,  on  the  Studio  of 
the  Grotta,  i.  159  ;  Delle  lettere  e  d. 
arti  Mantovani,  ii.  274  n. 

Bianca,  Empress,  ii.  66 

Bibbiena,  Bernardo  Dovizi  of,  on  his 
illness,  ii.  37 ;  on  the  charms  of 
Leonora,  37 ;  il  bel  Bernardo,  49 ; 
on  Federico,  49;  at  the  Congress  of 
Mantua,  65  ;  on  the  election  of  Leo 
X.,  76  ;  created  a  Cardinal,  78 ;  his 
comedy  Oalandria,  113,  188  ;  letter 
to  Isabella  D'Este,  118-120 ;  on  the 
death  of  Castiglione's  wife,  187 ; 
his  death,  187 

Binasco,  i.  239 

Bisceglia,  Alfonso,  Duke  of,  his  mar- 
riage, i.  187  ;  strangled,  187 

Bisignano,  Prince  of,  ii.  115 

Bisignano,  Princess  of,  i.  297,  298 

Blois,  i.  152  ;  ii.  125 

Boccaccio,  his  Becamerone,  i.  26 ; 
romances,  76 

Boiarda,  Alda,  ii.  81 ;  dismissal,  87 

Boiardo,  Matteo,  ii.  87 ;  Orlando 
Innamorato,  i.  11,  76 

Bologna,  Alberto  da,  i.  63,  116,  162 

Bologna,  Antonio  da,  i.  237 

Bologna,  i.  34,  58  ;  ii.  212 ;  tourna- 
ment at,  i,  71  ;  visit  to,  112 ;  entry 

of  Pope  Julius  II.,  281,  291; 
captured  by  the  French,  ii.  52; 
besieged,  56  ;  conference  at,  297 ; 
state  entry  of  Charles  V.  and  Pope 
Clement  VII.,  298 

Bologna  Museum,  ii.  368 

Bologna  University,  deputation  from, 
ii.  311 

Bolsena,  ii.  110 

Bolzano,  Vincenzo,  i.  330 

Bonatti,  Alessandro,  ii.  6 

Bonnivet,  at  the  siege  of  Milan,  ii. 

Bonsignori,  Francesco,  i.  290 ;  his 
altar-piece  of  the  Vision  of  the 
Beata  Osanna,  79 ;  decorations  at 
Marmirolo,  107 ;  his  portraits  of 
Mattello,  134,  Ferrante,  140, 
Pistoia,  391 

Bordoni,  his  description  of  the  Belve- 
dere Palace,  ii.  288 

Borgia,  Alexander,  elected  Pope,  i. 

Borgia,  Angela,  i.  194,  196,  265; 
presented  with  a  chain,  211 

Borgia,  Caesar,  his  scabbard  in  niello, 
i.  73 ;  created  Duke  of  Valen- 
tinois,  152 ;  his  marriage,  152  ; 
appearance,  178  ;  character,  178  ; 
influence  over  the  Pope,  178  ; 
sponsor,  179  ;  murders  the  Duke 
of  Bisceglia,  187 ;  conquest  of 
Romagna,  187  ;  his  French  allies, 
188 ;  proposed  betrothal  of  his 
daughter,  227  ;  seizure  of  the 
Duchy  of  Urbino,  228;  Duke  of 
Romagna,  230;  presents  the  statues 
of  Venus  and  Cupid  to  Isabella 
d'Este,  232  ;  welcome  from  Louis 
XII.,  238  ;  massacre  of  Sinigaglia, 
244 ;  murder  of  his  colleagues, 
245 ;  congratulations  on  his  suc- 
cesses, 248 ;  present  of  masks, 
248;  his  letter  of  thanks,  249; 
attack  of  fever,  253 ;  death  of  his 
father,  253 ;  under  the  protection 
of  the  French  army,  255  ;  anxiety 
to  conciliate  the  Pope,  260 ;  arrest, 
261 ;  his  end,  261  ;  attempt  to 
escape  from  prison,  269  ;  crimes, 
ii.  145 

Borgia,  Donna  Hieronima,  i.  204 

Borgia,  Lucrezia,  dissolution  of  her 
marriage,  i.  187;  second  marriage, 
187  ;  murder  of  her  husband,  187 ; 
proposed  third  marriage,  190; 
character,  190 ;  contract,  191 ; 
dowry,  191  ;  trousseau,  191; 
wedding,  194 ;  journey  to  Ferrara, 
196,  200;  reception,  200,  205; 
costume,    201,    204;    appearance. 



202,  206  ;  entry,  202  -  205  ; 
Ambassador's  gifts,  211 ;  her  re- 
lations with  Isabella  d'Este,  215; 
children,  215;  birth  of  a  child, 
23G,  ii.  158;  letter  of  condolence 
on  the  death  of  the  Marquis  of 
Mantua,  157 ;  death,  158 

Borgoforte,  i.  270;  ii.  140;  sub- 
merged, 342 

Borromeo,  Count  Achilles,  i.  224 

Borso,  i.  2 

Boschetti,  Isabella,  her  influence 
over  Federico  Gonzaga,  ii.  189, 
239,  240;  her  portrait,  227;  in- 
solence and  hatred  of  the  Duchess 
of  Mantua,  345 

Bosco,  Church  of  S.  Michele,  ii. 

Bosio,  Hieromino,  i.  368 

Bossi,  Matteo,  Abbot  of  Fiesole,  i. 

Botticelli,  Sandro,  i.  330 

Bourbon,  Due  Charles  de,  i.  297; 
ii.  233,  244;  Imperialist  general, 
255  ;  refuses  to  accept  terms,  255 ; 
resumes  his  march  across  the 
Apennines,  255 ;  at  Viterbo,  255 ; 
advances  against  Rome,  255 ;  de- 
mands a  free  passage  to  Naples, 
256 ;  at  the  siege  of  Rome,  258 ; 
death,  259 

Bourbon,  M.  la  Batard  de,  i.  119; 
taken  prisoner,  120;  sent  to  Man- 
tua, 120 

Bozzolo,  Federico  Gonzaga  of,  ii. 
123,  132,  147,  148,  244 ;  at  Viterbo, 
265  ;  his  death,  375 

Bozzolo,  Gianfrancesco  of,  his  death, 
i.  140 

Bozzolo,  Lodovico  di,  ii.  148 

Bozzolo,  Pirro  di,  ii.  147,  148 ;  his 
death,  375 

Bozzolo,  principality  of,  i.  37 

Bracciano,  fortress  of,  i.  250 

Braghirolli,  W.,  Archivio  Veneto,  i. 
342  n. ;  Oiorn.  di  Erud.  Art.,  90 
n.,  127  n. ;  ii.  281  n.  ;  Romania,  1. 
20  n. 

Bramante,  ii.  44 

Brandenburg,  Albert  von,  i.  29 ;  at 
Bologna,  ii.  302 

Brandenburg,  Barbara  von,  her  mar- 
riage, i.  24;  letter  to  her  son,  32; 
death,  38 

Brasca,  Erasmo,  i.  149 

Brescia,  races  at,  i.  63  ;  tournament, 
144 ;  taken,  ii.  56 

Brescia,  Vincenzo  of,  ii.  349 

Brewer,  Letters,  ii.  195  n. 

British  Museum,  ii.  368 

Brittany,  Queen  Anne  of,  i.  79 

Broccardo,  Antonio,  on  Pomponazzi's 

last  moments,  ii.  220;  at  Ilologna, 

Brogna,  maid-of-honour  to  Isabella 

d'Este,  i.  72 
Brognina,  ii.  81  ;  her  flirtations,  83, 

86,    124 ;    dismissal,   87 ;    resumes 

her  post,  243 
Brognolo,    Lodovico,  sends    Isabella 

d'Este  a  cameo,  ii.  5 
Brognolo,  Zorzo,  i.  54,  121, 141 ;  com- 
missions from  Isabella  d'Este,  73, 

Brosch,  Papst  Julius,  ii.  42  n. 
Brunellesco,  i.  20 
Brunoro,  Count,  ii.  82 
Buonacolsi,  defeated,  i.  19 
Buonamici,    M.    Lazzaro,     tutor    to 

Ercole  Gonzaga,  ii.  215 
Burgundy,   Charles  the  Bold,   Duke 

of,  i.  29 

Cagli,  i.  229 

Cagnino,  Gianfrancesco,  ii.  334 

Cagnolo,     on     the     appearance     of 

Lucrezia  Borgia,  i.  206 
Caiazzo,  Count  of,  ii.  334 
Calabria,  Alfonso,  Duke  of,  i.  93 ;  his 

wedding,  32 
Calabria,  i.  128  ;  war  in,  136 
Calandra,  Gian  Giacomo,  ii.  144, 148  ; 

on  Mantegna's  bust  of  Faustina,  i. 

365 ;   librarian    to   the    Marchesa, 

ii.  21 
Calandra,   Ippolito,  on  the  exile   of 

the  Duke  of  Urbino,  ii.  127  ;  on  the 

addition  to  the  Castello,  337;  list 

of  pictures,  338 
Calandra,  Silvestro,  i.  42,  67 
Calcagnini,  Celio,  i,  205  ;  his  oration 

on  Ercole  Strozzi,  312 
Calmeta,  i.  170,  187 
Calvi,  Fabia,  ii.  61 
Calvin,  at  Ferrara,  ii.  290,  384 
Calvisano,  Count  of,  ii.  189 
Cambray,  League  of,  ii.  31 ;   Treaty 

of,  293 
Camera  degli  Sposi,  i.  106  ;  ii.  172 
Camerino,  Duchess  of,  ii.  366 
Camerino,   Giovanni  Maria  da,    ex- 
pedition against,  i.  228  ;  flight,  246 
Campeggio,  Cardinal,  his  commission 

from  the  Pope,  ii.  287 ;  at  Bologna, 

Campori,  G.,  Attie  Memorie,  ii.  383  n., 

385  n. ;  Notizie  di  Giovanni  Santi, 

i.   112  n.  ;   Notizie   di  Raffadlo,  ii 

160  n.,  169  n. 
Canary  Islands,  ii.  226 
Canneto,  i.  48  ;  Rocca  of,  154 
Canossa,  Count,  i.  224 



Canossa,  Lodovico  da,  i.  267  ;  ii.  160 

Canossa,  Simone  da,  chamberlain  to 
the  Duke  of  Calabria,  i,  93 

Cantelma,  Margherita,  i.  280,  282; 
ii.  1 ;  her  illness,  3  ;  on  Trissino's 
RitraUi,  103;  her  death,  344;  be- 
quest, 344 

Cantelmo,  Sigismondo,  on  the  theatre 
at  Mantua,  i.  183-185  ;  recitations, 

Capello,  Alvise,  I.  218 

Capello,  Filippo,  i.  222 

Capello,  Francesco,  i.  58,  98 

Capello,  Paolo,  i.  138,  197 

Capilupi,  Benedetto,  i.  103,  146,  217  ; 
on  Elisabetta  Gonzaga's  wedding, 
44 ;  her  ill-health,  45 ;  on  the 
reception  of  Isabella  d'Este  at 
Milan,  114  ;  on  her  interview 
with  the  "Venetian  envoys,  212-214; 
on  the  grief  of  the  Duchess  of 
Urbino,  308 ;  on  the  story  of 
Tarquin  and  Lucrezia,  ii.  142 ;  his 
death,  158 

Capua,  Isabella  of,  ii.  345  ;  her  mar- 
riage, 308 

Caradossa,  his  bowl  and  inkstand,  ii. 
2 ;  relief,  206 

Caravaggio,  Marquis  of,  i.  374 

Caravazo,  Fermo,  i.  51 

Cardinals,  new,  appointed,  ii.  256 

Cardona,  Raymond  de,  Viceroy  of 
Naples,  besieges  Bologna,  ii.  56  ; 
at  the  Congress  of  Mantua,  65,  94  ; 
at  Milan,  81 

Carew,  Nicolas,  on  the  desolation  of 
Italy,  ii.  272 

Carlo  I.,  Duke,  ii,  390 

Caroto, his  portrait  of  Elisabetta,  i.  391 

Carpaccio,  his  paintings,  ii.  229 

Carpi,  seizure  of,  ii.  48 

Carreto,  Galeotto  di,  ii.  135 

Casale,  i.  198,  200;  ii.  135,  334 

Casale,  Gregory,  ii.  259 

Casalmaggiore,  ii.  94,  147 

Casio,  Girolamo  da,  i.  375,  379 ;  his 
sonnet  on  Leonardo  da  Vinci's 
cartoon,  320  ;  letters  on  Costa  and 
Francia,  375,  381  ;  list  of  articles 
procured  for  Isabella,  ?,%% ;  his 
epitaph  on  Cristoforo,  ii.  13  ;  re- 
ceives the  laurel  crown,  311 

Casola,  on  the  interview  between 
Isabella  d'Este  and  the  Bishop  of 
Gurk,  ii.  51 

Castelfranco,  Zorzo  da,  i.  389 ;  his 
picture  of  a  Notie,  390 

Castello,  CittJv  di,  seized,  i.  244 

Castelromano,  ii.  27 

Castiglio,  Guglielmo  di.  Captain  of 
Sal5,  ii.  100 

Castiglione,  Baldassarre,  i.  49,  152; 
settles  at  Urbino,  270 ;  forbidden 
to  visit  Mantua,  270 ;  his  marriage, 
ii.  131 ;  on  the  story  of  Tarquin 
and  Lucrezia,  142;  on  Raphael's 
design  for  the  Marquis  of  Mantua's 
tomb,  160  ;  his  efforts  to  obtain  a 
picture  by  Raphael,  163 ;  on  the 
trial  of  Longueil,  166 ;  his  in- 
fluence at  the  Vatican,  185,  224 ; 
death  of  his  wife,  185 ;  loyalty  to 
Duchess  Elisabetta,  190 ;  on  the 
death  of  Leo  X.,  191 ;  election  of 
the  Pope,  194 ;  on  the  restoration 
of  the  Duke  of  Milan,  199  ;  his 
letters  from  Rome,  206  ;  in  Venice, 
228  ;  on  the  league  against  France, 
231 ;  his  mission  to  Madrid,  236, 
241  ;  on  visiting  the  shrine  of  S. 
Jacopo  di  Galicia,  241 ;  his  death, 

Castiglione,  Ippolita,  her  death,  ii. 

Castiglione,  Sabbh,  da,  i.  82, 133,  164  ; 
ii.  297  ;  on  the  island  of  Rhodes, 
14  ;  his  literary  pursuits,  15  ; 
Academy,  16 ;  permission  to  search 
for  ancient  treasures,  16  ;  illness, 
18 ;  recalled  to  Rome,  19 ;  ap- 
pointed Prior  of  a  house  of  Knights 
of  S.  John,  19 

Castiglione,  i.  37 

Castiglione  di  Arezzo,  Imperial  camp 
at,  ii.  295 

Cattaneo,  Federico,  on  the  murder 
of  the  Duke  of  Bisceglia,  i.  187; 
on  the  preparations  for  Lucrezia 
Borgia's  wedding,  191;  on  the  death 
of  the^Pope,  253  ;  the  visit  of  the 
Duke  of  Urbino  to  Mantua,  310 

Cavriana,  i.  26,  50,  310  ;  villa  of,  ii. 

Cellani,  Contessa  di,  ii.  150 

Cellini,  Benvenuto,  ii.  259 ;  Tratiato, 
314  n. 

Ceresara,  Federico,  ii.  24 

Ceresara,  Paride  da,  i.  162,  330;  ii. 
149  :  his  fantasie,  i.  372 

Ceri,  Renzo  da,  in  command  of  the 
papal  forces,  ii.  254  ;  repulses  the 
Imperialists,  254 ;  levies  troops, 

Ceri,  fortress  of,  i.  250 

Cerignola,  victory  at,  i.  250 

Cesi,  Cardinal  di,  ii.  276 

Chalcus,  T.,  Residua,  i.  83  n. 

Charles  I.,  King  of  England,  his  col- 
lection of  pictures,  ii.  162,  390 

Charles  V.,  Emperor,  at  Reggio,  i.  15 ; 
ii.  294 ;  his  birth,  i.  178  ;  succeeds 
the  Emperor  Maximilian,  ii.  154; 



bis  entry  into  Barcelona,  182  ; 
treaty  with  the  Tope,  183,  185  ; 
alliance  against  France,  '231  ; 
league  against,  251  ;  on  the  death 
of  Castiglione,  271 ;  lands  at  Genoa, 
294 ;  his  triumphal  entry  into  Eo- 
logna,  297-300,  351  ;  meeting  with 
the  Pope,  300  ;  on  restoring  peace 
to  Italy,  306  ;  receives  the  Queen 
of  Naples,  a07  ;  his  marks  of  favour 
to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua,  309  ; 
pardons  the  Duke  of  Milan,  309  ; 
proclamation  of  peace,  310  ;  con- 
fers privileges  on  the  University 
of  Bologna,  811 ;  receives  Vene- 
tian senators,  311 ;  his  courtesy 
and  toleration,  312;  receives  the 
Iron  Crown,  313 ;  his  coronation, 
314-317  ;  banquet,  317  ;  reception 
of  the  Duke  of  Ferrara,  320  ;  state 
entry  into  Mantua,  323  ;  accident 
out  hunting,  324 ;  creates  Fede- 
rico,  Duke  of  Mantua,  325  ;  at  the 
Convent  of  S.  Benedetto,  326  ;  de- 
parture, 326  ;  gift  of  poems  from 
Ariosto,  347 ;  visit  to  Mantua,  349- 

Charles  VIII.,  King  of  France,  his 
proposals  to  the  Marquis  of  Mantua, 
i.  113  ;  enters  Italy,  113  ;  his  defeat 
at  Taro,  120  ;  treaty  of  peace  with 
the  Duke  of  Milan,  123;  his  re- 
treat, 128 ;  death,  149 

Chaumont,  Mons.  de,  ii.  14 

Chester,  ii.  177 

Chiaramonte,  Count  of,  his  banquet 
to  Isabella  d'Este,  ii.  115 

Chiericati,  Francesco,  ii.  83 ;  the 
papal  Nuncio,  172;  his  "Treatise 
on  the  History  of  Castile,"  173  ;  in 
England,  173;  his  description  of 
the  court  of  Henry  VIII.,  173-176  ; 
experiences  in  Ireland,  176-180 ; 
impressions  of,  180;  on  the  sweat- 
ing sickness,  181 ;  at  Mantua,  182  ; 
Eome,  183  ;  on  the  treaty  between 
Charles  V.  and  the  Pope,  183  ;  at 
the  Diet  of  Niirnberg,  224  ;  on  the 
Lutheran  movement,  224 ;  on  Ma- 
gellan's journey,  225  ;  at  the  Vati- 
can, 247 

Chievres,  Mons.  de,  ii.  183 

Chigi,  Agostino,  ii.  48,  58  ;  his  motto 
on  the  coronation  of  Leo  X.,  79 ; 
entertains  Isabella  d'Este,  112 

Childaria,  Count  of,  ii.  180 

Chioggia,  i.  98,  139,  218 

Cian,  v.,  Oiorn.  Stor.,  ii.  168  n.,  376 
n.,  378  n.,  387  n.  ;  Nuovi  documenti 
su  Pomponaszi,  220  n. ;  Un  De- 
cennio,  305  n. 

Cibo,  Cardinal,  ii.  323 

Cingano,  his  performance  on  the  rope, 

i.  212 
Ciocca,  Luigi,  i.  335;  on  Perugino's 

picture,  335 
Citarra  or  lute,  i.  86 
Civita  Vecchia,  ii.  2G6  ;  alum  quarries 

at,  58 
Clement  VII.,  Pope,  i.  78  ;  appoints 
Silvestri  General  of  the  Dominican 
Order,  276 ;  elected  Pope,  ii.  232 ; 
his  policy,  235,  238  ;  sends  Castig- 
lione to  Madrid,  236 ;  his  anxiety 
to  retain  the  friendship  of  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua,  245 ;  negotia- 
tions with  Lannoy,  254 ;  signs  a 
truce,  254 ;  disbands  his  forces, 
254 ;  implores  the  help  of  the 
Duke  of  Urbino,  255 ;  appoints 
new  Cardinals,  256 ;  escape  from 
Rome,  266;  entry  into  Bologna, 
297-300  ;  meeting  with  Charles  V., 
300  ;  celebrates  mass  at  San  Pe- 
tronio,  310 ;  at  the  coronation  of 
Charles  V.,  314-317;  his  death, 

Clerk,  John,  on  the  election  of  the 
Pope,  ii.  195 

Clogher,  ii.  177 

Cogo,  Niccolo  del,  i.  57 

CoUenuccio,  Pandolfo,  i.  179 

Colleoni,  Bartolommeo,  i.  82 

CoUeoni,  Cassandra,  i.  82 ;  death  of 
her  husband,  313 

Colocci,  Angelo,  ii.  Ill  ;  bis  book  on 
the  Limousin  poets,  112 ;  destruc- 
tion of  his  collection  of  antiques, 
270;  at  Bologna,  305 

Colombo,  the  antiquarian,  ii.  275 

Colonna,  Ascania,  ii.  252 

Colonna,  Fabrizio,  i.  181 ;  ii.  61,  115  ; 
taken  prisoner,  57 

Colonna,  Isabella,  her  betrothal,  ii. 
307  ;  marriage,  308 

Colonna,  Marc  Antonio,  his  epigram, 
ii.  144 

Colonna,  Cardinal  Pompeo,  ii.  246 ; 
on  his  return  to  Rome,  264 

Colonna,  Prospero,  Imperialist  gen- 
eral, ii.  190,  199,  279 

Colonna,  Vespasiano,  ii.  307  ;  his  wed- 
ding, 252 

Colonna,  Vittoria,  Marchesa  di  Pes- 
cara,  i.  182,  ii.  290 ;  present  of  a 
picture  from  the  Duke  of  Mantua, 
327,  330;  congratulations  on  his 
marriage,  333  ;  at  Ferrara,  382  ;  on 
Fra  Bernardino  Ochino,  382 

Columbus,  return  from  his  first  voy- 
age, i.  94 

Comacchio,  marshes  of,  i.  265 



Conclaye,  meeting  of  the,  i.  255,  258 ; 
ii.  75,  194,  232 

Contarini,  Alvise,  at  Mantua,  ii.  136- 

Contarini,  Taddeo,  i.  390 

Contarini,  Zaccaria,  i.  98 

Contarini,  Zuan,  at  Mantua,  ii.  136-138 

Contarini,  Venetian  ambassador,  on 
Federico  Gonzaga,  ii.  123 ;  at 
Bologna,  304 

ii.  191 

Contrari,  Beatrice  del,  i.  52,  53 ;  her 
letters  to  the  Marquis,  55  ;  illness, 

Cordova,  Don  Alonzo  da,  ii.  262 

Cordova,  Gonsalvo  di,  i.  235  ;  at  Cala- 
bria, 188  ;  his  victory  at  Cerignola, 
250  ;  arrests  C^sar  Borgia,  261 

Cornaro,  Queen  Caterina,  i,  100,  224 

Cornaro,  Messer  Francesco,  his  com- 
mission to  Andrea  Mantegna,  i. 
358,  371 

Cornaro,  Giorgio,  i.  139,  224 

Corneto,  Cardinal  Adriano  da,  i.  253 

Corpus  Domini,  convent  of,  i.  24 

Corradi,  Girolamo,  i.  290 

Oorreggio,  Antonio  AUegri,  hia  pic- 
ture of  the  Magdalen,  ii.  281  ; 
allegories,  282 

Oorreggio,  Borso  da,  i.  16 

Correggio,  Galeazzo,  his  marriage,  i. 

Correggio,  Giangaleazzo,  on  his 
father's  poems,  i.  314 

Correggio,  Niccolo  da,  i.  16,  81,  114  ; 
courtier  and  poet,  81 ;  his  faaie, 
82 ;  serves  in  the  wars  against 
Venice,  82 ;  taken  prisoner,  82  ; 
his  pastoral  play  Cefalo  and  other 
works,  82,  83  ;  settles  at  Milan,  83  ; 
his  devotion  to  Isabella  d'Este,  83, 
168 ;  mission  to  France,  83 ;  his 
fable  of  Psyche,  84 ;  silver  lyre, 
85;  his  cantata  "  Mopsa  and 
Daphne,"  86  ;  death  of  his  mother, 
144 ;  at  Correggio,  167 ;  his  Latin 
motto,  168  ;  at  Ferrara,  168  ;  son- 
nets, 168,  169 ;  marriage  of  his 
son,  169  ;  on  the  welcome  by  Louis 
XII.  of  Caesar  Borgia,  238  ;  on  the 
quarrel  between  Ippolito  and 
Giulio,  266 ;  his  death,  313 ; 
daughter,  ii.  285 

Correr,  Gregorio,  Abbot  of  S.  Zeno 
of  Verona,  dedication  of  his  treatise 
De  Pugiendo  Sceculo,  i.  23 

Corte,  Castello  di,  i.  17;  decoration 
of  the  rooms,  87  ;  ii.  203,  204  ;  the 
Paradiso,  205 

Cortoua,  surrender  of,  iL  295 

Coss^,  Andrea,  ii.  30 

Costa,  Lorenzo,  i.  339;  ii.  281;  iinishes 

the  Comus,  i.  371 ;  commission  for  a 

picture,  372;  illness,  374;  Triumph 

of  Poetry,  375  ;    at  Mantua,  376 ; 

his  decorations  of  the  palace  of  St. 

Sebastian,  377 ;  portraits,  377 
Costabili,  M.  Antonio  di,  i.  147,  179 
Costanza,  chapel  of  S.,  ii.  59 
Costanza,  Madonna,  i.  310 
Cotrone,  Marchesa  di,  i.  166,  217;  on 

the  appearance  of  Isabella  d'Este, 

Covos,  ii.  327 
Cracow,  ii.  114 
Credi,  Lorenzo  di,  1.  278  ;  his  picture 

of  the  Magdalen,  389 
Creighton,  "History  of  the  Papacy," 

ii.  132  n.,  251  n. 
Cremona,   Giovanni  da,  on   the  ad- 
miration excited  by  Isabella  d'Este, 

ii.  133 
Cremona,  Zoan  Petro  da,  i.  381 
Cremona,  conference  at,  i.  39;  French 

retire  to,  ii.  190  ;  taken,  251 
Crevalcore,  Antonio  da,  his  picture  of 

fruit,  i.  389 
Oristoforo  Romano,  Giovanni,  i.  164, 

166,  343  ;  ii.  1-14. 
Orivelli,  Lacrezia,  i.  154 
Oroce,   Giacomo   Santi,   imprisoned, 

i.  246 
Crogiolo  or  crucible,  device  of  the,  i. 

142,  165 
Crowe  e  CavalcaseUe,  Titian^  ii.  228  n., 

327  n.,  328  n.,  333  n. 
Ornttwell,  Miss,  "Life  of  Mantegna," 

i  125  n. 
Cupid,  statue  of,  i.  230-234 
Cusatro,  Beltramino,  i.  3  ;  on  the  in- 
telligence of  Madonna  Isabella,  4 
Cyprus,  Bishop  of,  i.  1 
Cyprus,  Queen  of,  i.  139,  223 

Daino,  G.,  Cronaca,  ii.  156  n.,  267  n., 

324  n. 
Davari,  S.,  Arch.  St.  Lomb.,  ii.  338  n. ; 

II  Matrimonio  di  Dorotea  Gonzaga, 

i.  33  n. ;  Lettere  inedite  di  Pomponazzi, 

ii.  221  n. ;  La  Musica  in  Mantova,  i. 

10  n.,  81  n. ;  ii.  135  n. 
Delia,  ii.  81,  115 
Delia,  the  dwarf,  ii.  363 
Denistoun,   "  Memoirs  of  the  DukeB 

of  Urbino,"  i.  229  «.,  307  n.  ;   ii. 

132  n.,  261  n. 
Denmark,  Christina  of,  her  wedding, 

ii.  361 
Denmark,  Queen  Dorothea  of,  1.  28 
Derg,  Lough,  ii.  178 
Desenzaoo,  i.  50 



Didot,  A.  F.,  Aide  Manuce,  ii.  2:i  n., 

27  n. 
Diego,   the   Spanish  court-jester,  ii. 

Dolfo,  Floriano,  on  the  character  of 

Isabella  d'Este,  i.  144 
Donatello,  his  bust  of  Lodovico,  i.  2G 
Donesmondi,   Storia  Eccles.  di  Man- 

tova,   i.  79  n.,   177  n.,  255  n. ;   ii. 

3sy  n, 
Doort,  Van  der,  his  catalogue  of  pic- 
tures, ii.  162,  357,  n, 
Doria,  Admiral  Andrea,  at  Bologna, 

ii.  302 
DosBi,  Dosso,  i.  391 ;  at  Mantua,  391 
Down,  ii.  ISO 
Dromore,  ii.  177 
Dublin,  ii.  177 
Dandalk,  ii.  177 
Durazzo,  Guarino  da,  ii.  179 

Eastlake,  Lady,  ii.  250 

Egidio,  Cardinal,  ii.  183 

Egmont,  Count,  i.  152 

Equicola,  Mario,  i.  268,  277  ;  ii.  149 ; 
on  the  appearance  of  Isabella 
d'Este,  i.  9 ;  his  treatise,  Nee  spe 
nee  vietu,  280 ;  at  Mantua,  282 ; 
secretary  to  the  Marchesa,  283, 
ii.  159 ;  his  quarrel  with  Tebaldeo, 
87 ;  verses  against,  88  ;  on  the 
pilgrimage  to  Sainte-Baume,  133  ; 
on  the  story  of  Tarquin  and 
Lucrezia,  142 ;  on  the  improve- 
ments in  the  Castello,  207;  his 
death,  241 

Erasmus,  ii.  166 ;  on  the  ruin  of 
Rome,  270 

Este,  Alberto  d',  1.  16,  198 

Este,  Alfonso  d',  Duke  of  Ferrara, 
i.  2,  15,  16 ;  his  marriage,  55 ; 
entry  into  Ferrara,  57 ;  on  a 
tournament  at  Bologna,  71 ;  on 
the  discovery  of  a  new  island,  71 ; 
death  of  his  wife,  134,  143;  his 
second  marriage,  168,  190;  in- 
vested with  a  consecrated  cap  and 
sword,  209  ;  gift  of  a  shield,  211 ; 
death  of  his  father,  265  ;  succeeds 
to  the  title,  265  ;  character,  265 ; 
war  with  the  Pope,  ii.  47 ;  retires 
to  Ferrara,  57  ;  in  Rome,  61 ;  visits 
the  Sistina,  62;  absolved  by  the 
Pope,  63  ;  refuses  his  terms,  63 ; 
escapes  from  Rome,  63 ;  his  grief 
at  the  death  of  his  wife,  158 ;  de- 
signs of  the  Pope  against  him, 
189;  his  joy  at  the  news  of  the 
death  of  Leo  X.,  191  ;  recovers 
Reggio,  235  ;  renewal  of  the  alli- 
ance with  Francis  I.,  286 ;  wedding 

of  his  son,  286;  entertains  Charles 
v.,  294;  reception,  320;  recon- 
ciliation with  the  Pope,  320;  at 
Milan,  361 ;  his  death,  362 

Este,  Anna  d',  her  birth,  ii.  360; 
resemblance  to  her  great-aunt 
Isabella,  360,  361  ;  her  musical 
tastes,  385 

Este,  Beatrice  d',  i.  3  ;  her  betrothal, 
5;  portrnit,  12;  wedding,  5,3,  55; 
illness,  64;  birth  of  a  son,  65; 
her  death,  140.     See  Milan 

Este,  Bianca  d',  i.  57 

Este,  Camilla  d',  her  marriage,  i. 

Este,  Duke  Ercole  d',  birth  of  a 
daughter,  i.  1 ;  wars  of  his  reign, 
2 ;  peace  and  prosperity,  3 ;  be- 
trothal of  his  daughters,  3-5 ;  re- 
ception of  the  Marquis  of  Mantua, 
5 ;  his  devotion  to  classical  studies, 
11 ;  library,  11 ;  country  house,  12; 
court-painters,  12 ;  marriage  of 
his  daughter  Lucrezia,  13 ;  his 
intervention  on  the  question  of 
Galeotto's  dyke,  59  ;  his  meeting 
with  Louis  XII.,  152 ;  on  the 
character  of  Lucrezia  Borgia,  192  ; 
his  gift  to  her  of  a  casket  of  jewels, 
194;  cost  of  the  wedding  festivi- 
ties, 198 ;  failure  of  his  health, 
2G4 ;  death,  265 

Este,  Ercole  II.  d',  his  marriage,  ii. 
286  ;  banquet,  292 

Este,  Ferrante  d',  i.  16;  at  the 
wedding  of  Lucrezia  Borgia,  192, 
194;  conspiracy  against  his  brother, 
266  ;  imprisoned,  '266  ;  ii.  63 

Este,  Giulio  d',  i.  200;  his  quarrel 
with  Ippolito,  265  ;  conspiracy 
against,  266 ;  imprisoned,  266 ; 
ii.  63 

Este,  Cardinal  Ippolito  d',  i.  16,  147  ; 
at  the  wedding  of  Lucrezia  Borgia, 
192,  194;  his  gift,  195;  letter 
from  Isabella,  230;  his  quarrel 
with  Giulio,  265 ;  his  death,  ii. 

Este,  Ippolito  d',  Archbishop  of 
Milan,  ii.  288 

Este,  Isabella  d',  i.  1  ;  birth,  1 ; 
parents,  2 ;  betrothal,  3,  38  ;  in- 
telligence, 4;  portrait,  4,  12,  91, 
150,  171,  377,  381-387;  ii.  284, 
353-356 ;  first  meeting  with  her 
future  husband,  5  ;  at  Modena,  5 ; 
appearance,  9,  46,  202;  ii.  133, 
284  ;  education,  i.  9  ;  tutors,  9 ; 
musical  tastes,  10;  her  voice,  10; 
surrounded  by  works  of  art,  12  ; 
preparations  for  her  marriage,  14 ; 



her  girdle,  14;  dowry,  15;  cele- 
bration of  the  wedding,  15 ; 
banquet,  15;  dinner-service,  15; 
ii,  368 ;  entry  into  Mantua,  i.  16 ; 
festivities,  17  ;  absence  of  Andrea 
Mantegna,  17 ;  her  character,  47, 
49  ;  ii.  391  ;  intimacy  with  Antonia 
del  Balzo,  i.  48  ;  relations  with  her 
husband's  family,  48 ;  affection 
for  Elisabetta,  48,  67 ;  excursions 
to  the  Lago  di  Garda,  50,  52 ;  ii. 
363  ;  blank  of  her  departure  from 
home,  i.  51 ;  letters  to  her  tutors, 
51 ;  visits  to  Ferrara,  52,  53,  65, 
112,  116,  140,  168,  182,  198,  251, 
:!12;  ii.  267,  362,  384;  attacks  of 
fever,  i.  52,  277,  354;  ii.  4,  138; 
affection  for  her  husband,  i.  53 ; 
preparations  for  her  journey  to 
Milan,  54,  62 ;  her  sbernia  or 
mantle,  54  ;  the  wedding  of  her 
sister  Beatrice,  55  ;  of  her  brother 
Alfonso,  55 ;  at  the  Certosa  of 
Pavia,  56  ;  governs  Mantua,  58, 
117,  243,  250 ;  ii.  336 ;  on  Galeotto's 
dvke,  i.  59;  at  Milan,  61-63,  114, 
295-301  ;  ii.  80,  94,  108 ;  reception 
at  Genoa,  i.  64  ;  illness  of  her  sister, 
64;  her  classical  studies,  65-67, 
129;  ii.  136  ;  on  the  postponement 
of  Elisabetta's  visit,  i.  67-69  ;  cor- 
respondence, 70  ;  orders  for  jewels, 
71 ;  commissions,  72-75  ;  want  of 
money,  75,  365 ;  ii.  130 ;  raises 
loans,  i.  75 ;  intellectual  interests, 
76  ;  love  of  books,  76-78  ;  relations 
with  friars,  79 ;  attachment  to 
Osanna  dei  Andreasi,  79  ;  interest 
in  Genazzano  and  Savonarola,  80 ; 
in  poetry,  80  :  verses,  81  ;  admira- 
tion for  Niccolo  da  Correggio,  81  ; 
on  his  poem  of  Psyche,  84  ;  on  the 
loan  of  his  silver  lyre,  85  ;  singing 
lessons,  86 ;  decoration  of  her 
rooms,  87,  157;  ii.  203-205;  her 
studiolo,  i.  88  ;  threatens  Liombeni, 
89 ;  on  the  portrait  of  the  Countess 
of  Acerra,  91 ;  on  the  birth  of 
Beatrice's  son,  96 ;  regret  at  leaving 
Elisabetta,  97  ;  at  Venice,  97,  217- 
224  ;  ii.  228,  234,  326,  344,  346, 
3^7 ;  reception  by  the  Doge,  i. 
98-100  ;  on  the  espousals  of  Venice 
with  the  sea,  100;  her  desire  to 
have  a  portrait  of  the  Doge,  101  ; 
at  Padua,  101  ;  return  to  Mantua, 
102,  112,  115,  214,  224  ;  ii.  94,  117, 
268,  291,  321,  386,  388  ;  at  the 
Villa  of  Porto,  i.  102;  death  of 
her  mother,  103  ;  birth  of  a 
daughter,  104  ;  christening,  105  ;  re- 

VOL.  II. 

covery,  106  ;  pilgrimage  to  Loreto, 
108 ;  ii.  189  ;  at  Gubbio,  i.  109  ;  at 
Urbino,  109  ;  Assisi,  109  ;  on  the 
palace  of  Urbino,  110  ;  at  Bologna, 
112;  ii.  296  ;  sympathies  with  the 
French,  i.  113  ;  on  pledging  her 
jewels,  116,  137  ;  on  the  battle  of 
the  Taro,  118  ;  pension,  121  ; 
anxiety  for  her  husband,  122  ; 
on  the  Madonna  della  Vittoria, 
126  ;  correspondence  with  Lorenzo 
da  Pavia  on  a  clavichord,  129-131 ; 
a  lute,  131  ;  frivolous  amusements, 
133 ;  her  dwarfs  and  clowns,  133  ; 
on  the  death  of  Mattello,  134  ;  her 
dogs  and  cats,  135 ;  birth  of  a 
second  daughter,  135 ;  death  of 
her  sister,  140  ;  at  Verona,  142 ; 
treatment  of  her  husband,  144  ;  on 
the  Duke  of  Milan's  visit,  147  ; 
negotiations,  148 ;  betrothal  of 
her  daughter,  148,  267 ;  on  pre- 
senting her  portrait  to  Isabella  of 
Aragon,  150  ;  tendency  to  stout- 
ness, 151 ;  attempts  to  conciliate 
the  French,  152,  156  ;  kindness  to 
the  Milanese  exiles,  154  ;  artistic 
interests,  157;  her  Studio  of  the 
Grotta,  158-160,  272  ;  collection  of 
works  of  art,  158,  317  ;  ii.  5,  17, 
206,  377-379;  painters  and  sculp- 
tors, i.  161-165,  170;  her  busts, 
165  ;  portrait-medal,  166  ;  on  the 
Latin  motto,  168,  280;  poets,  168- 
170 ;  her  scheme  for  the  erection 
of  a  statue  to  Virgil,  173  ;  birth 
of  a  son,  177 ;  carnival  fetes  at 
Mantua,  183  ;  birth  of  a  third 
daughter,  186 ;  affection  for  her 
son,  186,  207  ;  on  the  resistance  of 
Faenza,  188  ;  on  the  proposed  mar- 
riage of  her  brother  with  Lucrezia 
Borgia,  190 ;  the  wedding  festivi- 
ties, 198-207  ;  first  meeting  with 
the  bride,  200  ;  entry,  202-205 ; 
reception,  205;  comedies  and  plays, 
206,  210,  211,  251;  ii.  82;  impa- 
tience to  return  home,  i.  208  ; 
entertains  the  French  ambassador, 
209  ;  interview  with  the  Venetian 
envoys,  212-214  ;  relations  with 
Lucrezia  Borgia,  215,  251,  315;  her 
income  and  expenditure,  226 ;  nego- 
tiations on  the  betrothal  of  her 
son,  227,  243 ;  at  Porto,  227  ;  on 
the  seizure  of  the  duchy  of  Urbino, 
228  ;  her  request  for  the  statues  of 
Venus  and  Cupid,  230 ;  fears  fol 
her  husband's  safety,  236  ;  letter 
from  Queen  Anne  of  Brittany, 
243 ;  on  the  conquests  and  murders 

2  c 



of  Caesar  Borgia,  244-247  ;  ber  gift 
of  masks,  248  ;  congratulations  on 
his  successes,  248  ;  death  of  her 
sister-in-law,  253  ;  birth  of  a  fourth 
daughter,  263  ;  death  of  her  father, 

265  ;  inaprisonmentof  her  brothers, 

266  ;  her  perfumes,  2G9  ;  abandons 
her  jonrney  to  Rome,  269  ;  visit  of 
Pietro  Bembo,  272  ;  of  Machia- 
velli,  274  ;  on  the  appointment  of 
her  husband  to  the  post  of  Cap- 
tain-general of  the  Republic,  274 
on  the  death  of  Suor  Osanna,  275 
birth  of  a  second  boy,  277,  356 
at  Florence,  278  ;  silver  effigy, 
279 :  present  of  a  treatise.  Nee 
ape  nee  metu,  280  ;  on  restoring  the 
Camera  Dipinta,  285  ;  relations 
with  her  husband,  288 ;  on  the 
copy  of  the  Italia,  290  ;  on  the  sus- 
picions of  the  Venetians,  291  ;  the 
Pope's  entry  into  Bologna,  291  ; 
birth  of  a  third  son,  293  ;  on  the 
visit  of  Ariosto,  294  ;  reception  by 
Louis  XII.,  297  ;  on  the  French 
court,  298  ;  invited  to  France,  303  ; 
her  joy  at  the  prospect,  304 ;  death 
of  her  child  Livia,  306  ;  illness  of 
her  husband,  306 ;  birth  of  her 
youngest  daughter,  309 ;  presents 
from  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  311  ;  on 
the  poems  of  Niccolo  da  Correggio, 
314  ;  relations  with  artists,  317 ; 
Leonardo  da  Vinci,  317-328 ;  her 
letter  to  Fra  Pietro  da  Novellara, 
318  ;  on  Lorenzo  dei  Medici's  vases, 
822  ;  letter  to  Angelo  del  Tovaglia, 
323 ;  to  Leonardo,  324,  325 ;  deal- 
ings with  Perugino,  328-340 ;  in- 
structions for  the  picture,  331- 
333;  criticisms,  339 ;  dealings  with 
Giovanni  Bellini,  341-352;  satis- 
faction with  his  picture,  the 
Nativity,  353  ;  negotiations  for  a 
Storia,  353-359 ;  on  the  sale  of 
Vianello's  cabinetto,  360  ;  appeal  for 
help  from  Mantegna,  364 ;  buys  his 
bust  of  Faustina,  367 ;  employs 
Costa  to  finish  the  Comus,  371 ; 
directions  for  a  picture,  374 ;  por- 
trait of  her  son  Federico,  379,  ii. 
72  ;  gift  of  Pistoja's  poems,  i.  387  ; 
presents  portraits  to  Zaninello, 
388 ;  her  wish  to  possess  Gior- 
gione's  Notte,  390;  on  Caradosso's 
cup  and  inkstand,  ii.  4  ;  her  letter 
to  Cristoforo,  4 ;  acquires  the 
Cnpid  of  Praxiteles,  6  ;  her  practi- 
cal joke  on  Aretino,  10 ;  her  library, 
20,  379-381 ;  the  Aldine  classics, 
21  26  ;  present  of  books  from  Aldo, 

25 ;  birth  of  a  grandson,  29  ;  im- 
prisonment of  her  husband,  32; 
belief  in  astrology,  33  ;  efiforts  to 
obtain  his  release,  34,  38;  marriage 
of  her  daughter  Leonora,  35  ;  her 
presents  to  the  Bishop  of  Gurk  and 
the  Queen  of  France,  39  ;  on  part- 
ing with  her  son  Federico,  41,  44; 
on  his  education,  45  ;  on  the  death 
of  her  dog  Aura,  55  ;  on  the  claims 
of  Maximilian  Sforza,  66 ;  con- 
gratulations on  the  return  of  the 
Medici,  68 ;  on  the  election  of 
Pope  Leo  X.,  77  ;  her  masked  ball, 
83 ;  defence  of  her  conduct,  85  ; 
patience  with  her  husband,  86;  dis- 
missal of  her  maids  of  honour,  87 ; 
on  the  conduct  of  Tebaldeo,  87-91  ; 
atGazzuolo,  94;  Goito,  95;  Lonato, 
95,  accidents,  98,  134 ;  at  Peschiera, 
99  ;  the  hola  dei  Frati,  100;  Sal6, 
101 ;  gift  of  Trissino's  Ritratti,  102- 
105 ;  at  Grignano,  106 ;  on  the 
loyalty  of  the  people,  106  ;  accident 
to  her  page,  108;  visits  to  Rome, 
110-113,  116,  244;  at  Naples,  114; 
Siena,  117  ;  regrets  at  leaving 
Rome,  118-120;  pilgrimage  to 
Sainte-Baume,  133;  visit  of  the 
Venetian  ambassadors,  137 ;  her 
courtiers  and  scholars,  149 ;  regard 
for  Bandello,  150;  testimonial, 
150;  letter  of  condolence,  151; 
death  of  her  husband,  154  ;  letters 
and  visits  of  condolence,  157 ; 
death  of  her  secretary  Capilupi, 
158  ;  appoints  Mario  Equicola,  159  ; 
requests  Raphael  to  paint  her  a 
picture,  162-165 ;  on  his  death, 
170  ;  her  wisdom  and  diplomacy, 
184  ;  influence  at  the  Vatican,  184; 
on  the  appointment  of  her  son 
Federico  to  the  post  of  Captain- 
General  of  the  Church,  185;  ad- 
vice to  him  on  an  alliance  with 
Francis  I.,  193  ;  congratulations  on 
his  victory,  200;  affection  for  her 
nephew,  Francesco  Sforza,  201  ;  her 
services  to  him,  203;  decorations 
of  the  Corte  Vecchia,  203-205  ;  the 
Paradiso,  205 ;  devices  and  mottoes, 
205,  240  ;  efforts  to  obtain  a  Car- 
dinal's hat  for  her  son,  Ercole,  209, 
237,  248  ;  on  the  choice  of  a  tutor, 
210-212  ;  on  the  journey  of  Ma- 
gellan, 226  ;  on  Titian's  picture,  St. 
Jerome,  229  ;  death  of  her  brother- 
in-law,  and  his  wife,  232  ;  her  trials 
with  Isabella  Boschetti,  240 ;  at 
Pesaro,  243  ;  in  the  Colonna  Palace, 
246 ;    her   grief   at   the    death   of 



Elisabetta,  249  ;  refuses  to  leave 
Rome,  254 ;  fortifies  her  Palace, 
256 ;  at  the  siege  of  Rome,  258-262 ; 
at  Ostia,  266  ;  loss  of  her  Roman 
antiquities,  274 ;  dealings  with 
Raphael  of  Urbino,  274-276;  on 
Sebastiano  del  Piombi's  portrait  of 
her  son  Ercole,  278 ;  pictures  of 
Oorrege:io,  282;  reception  of  the 
bride  Reu^e,  287 ;  her  tolerance, 
290;  religious  views,  290;  at 
Solarolo,  296;  on  the  state  entry 
and  meeting  between  Charles  V. 
and  the  Pope,  at  Bologna,  297-301 ; 
reception  of  Charles  V.,  324;  on 
her  son  created  Duke  of  Mantua, 
325 ;  on  Titian's  picture  of  the 
Magdalen,  328,  329  ;  betrothal  and 
wedding  of  her  son,  Federico,  330, 
335  ;  on  the  new  Palazzina,  337  ; 
preparations  for  the  bride's  entry, 
340 ;  signs  of  advancing  age,  344  ; 
her  will,  344,  389  ;  at  the  baths  of 
Albano,  344  ;  death  of  her  friend, 
Margherita  Cantelma,  344 ;  gift  of 
poems  from  Ariosto,  346 ;  Tasso, 
347 ;  her  portrait  by  Francia,  copied 
by  Titian,  353-356;  by  Rubens, 
856  ;  family  affection,  358  ;  resem- 
blance to  her  great-niece,  360,  361 ; 
death  of  her  brother  Alfonso,  362 ; 
administration  of  Solarolo,  364 ; 
affection  for  her  daughter,  Leonora, 
365 ;  her  interest  in  embroideries, 
366 ;  in  the  majolica  of  Urbino, 
367 ;  love  of  antiques,  369 ;  of 
nature,  370 ;  her  gardens  at  Porto, 
370-372 ;  interest  in  gardening,  372 ; 
loss  of  relatives,  375  ;  her  death, 
376,  389  ;  last  visit  to  Ferrara,  384 ; 
affection  for  her  grandchildren, 
386  ;  failing  health,  388  ;  destruc- 
tion of  her  tomb,  390 

Este,  Duke  Leonello  d',  i.  2,  his 
appearance,  3;  on  the  advantages 
of  Vittorino's  instruction,  23 

Este,  Duchess  Leonora  d',  i.  1 ;  birth 
of  a  daughter,  1  ;  her  delight  at 
receiving  Andrea  Mantegna's  Ma- 
donna, 8 ;  favourite  authors,  12 ; 
at  the  wedding  of  her  daughter 
Beatrice,  54;  at  Pavia,  56;  re- 
ception of  her  son  Alfonso's  bride, 
57  ;  letters  from  Isabella,  71  ;  on 
Genazzano'.s  praise  of  her,  80;  at 
Venice,  102;  her  death,  103; 
honours  and  tributes,  103 

Este,  Leonora  d',  her  birth,  ii.  382 

Este,  Lucrezia  d',  i.  57  ;  her  mar- 
riage, 13  ;  on  Francia's  portrait  of 
Isabella,  382-385 

Este,  Duchess  Lucrezia  d',  her  wed- 
ding, i,  194  ;  la  Dim  Borgia,  312 , 
relations  with  Isabella,  315.  See 

Este,  Lucrezia  d',  her  birth,  ii.  362 

Este,  Niccolo  d',  his  plot  to  seize 
the  Duchess  Leonora,  i.  2 

Este,  Polissena  d',  i.  58 

Este,  Duchess  Renee  d',  her  wedding, 
ii.  286 ;  reception  at  Ferrara,  287- 
289 ;   appearance,  289  ;   character, 

289  ;  sympathy  with  the  reformers, 

290  ;  her  costumes,  359  ;  birth  of  a 
son,  359 ;  birth  of  her  daughters, 
360,  362,  382 

Este,  Cardinal  Sigismondo  d',  i.  116 

Evangelista,  i.  149 

Eyck,  Van,  his  pictures,  i.  360 

Facing,  Alfonso,  ii.  191 

Faella,  Giacomo,  i.  166 

Faenza,  ii.  36,  297  ;  resistance  of,  i. 
188 ;  surrender,  188 

Faenza,  Antonio  da,  ii.  367 

Falcone,  his  comedy,  "Gog  and 
Magog,"  ii.  131 

Fancelli,  Chiara,  i.  339 

Fancelli,  Luca,  i.  26,  38,  328  ;  on  the 
discovery  of  the  New  World,  94 

Fano,  i.  138 

Farnese,  Cardinal,  candidate  for  the 
Papacy,  ii.  196 

Fedeli,  Ercole,  the  goldsmith,  i.  73  ; 
his  gold  and  silver  work,  73 

Felice,  Madonna,  ii.  8  ;  her  wedding, 
i.  268 

Feltre,  Fra  Bernardino  da,  i.  38  ;  his 
funeral  sermon  on  the  death  of 
Duchess  Leonora,  103 

Feltre,  Vittorino  da,  tutor  to  the 
Gonzaga  princes,  i.  21 ;  his  system 
of  education,  21;  pupils,  22-24; 
death,  28 

Ferdinand  II.,  Emperor,  ii.  390 

Ferrante  II.,  King,  his  portrait,  i.  150 

Ferrara,  Duke  Alfonso  d'Este.  See 

Ferrara,  Fra  Francesco  da,  Vicar- 
General  of  the  Dominican  Order, 
ii  139 ;  at  Mantua,  140 ;  on  the 
palace  of  Porto,  140 ;  Prior  of  bis 
Order,  140 

Ferr.ira,  Feast  of  St.  George  at,  i.  4, 
116,  140  ;  a  centre  of  art  and  learn- 
ing, 11  ;  wedding  at,  15  ;  banquet, 
15 ;  fetes  at,  57,  306 ;  ii.  286 ; 
comedies  and  plays,  i.  182, 206,  210, 
211,  251,  264;  sights  of,  207; 
single  combat,  210;  plague,  288; 
campaign  against,  ii.  50 ;  cession 
of,  63  ;  papal  intrigues  against,  94 



Ferrato,  P.,  Dd  Viaggio,  ii.  3G3  n.  ; 
Lettere  inedite  di  Donne  Mantovane 
dd  Sccolo,  i.  98  n.  ;  Lettere  di  Princi- 
pesse  di  Casa  Gonzaga,  287  n. 

Fetti,  Fra  Mariano,  at  the  carnival  in 
Kome,  ii.  70  ;  keeper  of  the  Papal 
Seals,  70  ;  devotion  to  the  Marquis 
of  Mantua,  70 

Fiera,  Battista,  i.  173 

Fierabraccio,  romances  of,  i.  76 

Fiesole,  ii  125 

Filelfo,  tutor  to  Federico  Gonzaga, 
i.  20,  28,  40 

Flaminian  Way,  i.  229 

Florence,  visit  to,  i.  278;  excluded 
from  the  League,  ii.  310 ;  surrender 
of,  326 

Foix,  Gaston  de,  sacks  Brescia,  ii.  56 ; 
invades  Romagna,  56  ;  killed,  57 

Foix,  Germaine  de,  i.  302 ;  on  the 
medal  of  Isabella  d'Este,  ii.  12 

Folengo,  Sigismondo,  Podestk  of 
Mantua,  ii.  156 

Foligno,  i.  196 

Fondi,  i.  138 

Fontana,  Renata  di  Francia,  ii.  287  n, ; 
Een^e  de  France,  ii.  321  n.,  331  n. ; 
SuW  Immortalitcb,  ii.  221  n. 

Fontainebleau,  ii.  286 

Forli,  Madonna  of,  i.  105 

Forno,  Gianfrancesco,  ii.  218 

Fornovo,  battle  of,  i.  29,  118,  124 

Fossa,  Torre  della,  i.  200 

Fossombrone,  ii.  11 

Fracassa,  Signor,  i.  50,  154 

France,  League  against,  i.  115 ;  ii. 
231  ;  armistice  with  Venice,  i.  138; 
treaty  with  Venice,  151 

France,  Anne  de  Bretagne,  Queen  of, 
her  offer  to  help  the  Duchess  of 
Urbino,  i.  240 ;  letter  to  Isabella, 
243  ;  her  coronation,  268  ;  present 
from  Isabella,  ii.  39 ;  on  accom- 
panying the  King  to  Italy,  40 

France,  Princess  Ren(^e  de,  her  mar- 
riage, ii.  286 

Francesca,  Piero  della,  i.  2  ;  his  fres- 
coes, 12 ;  altar-piece,  229 

Francesco,  Fra,  ii.  149 

Francesco,  Church  of  S.,  sepulchral 
chapel  of  the  Gonzaga  princes,  ii. 
389  ;  pillaged  by  the  French,  390 

Franchetti,  Baron,  i.  371 

Francia  offers  to  paint  a  picture  for 
Isabella  d'Este,  i.  378;  his  frescoes 
in  the  Chapel  of  St.  Cecilia,  378; 
portrait  of  Federico,  379-381 ;  of 
Isabella,  381-387 ;  ii.  354 

Francis  I.,  his  accession,  ii.  120 ;  at 
Milan,  123  ;  on  the  Italian  fashion 
of   dress,    124;    curiosity    to    see 

Brognina,  124 ;  his  friendship  for 
Federico  Gonzaga,  192 ;  lays  siege 
to  Milan,  232,  238 ;  lays  siege  to 
Pavia,  238 ;  his  defeat  and  capture, 
244 ;  release,  251  ;  renewal  of  the 
alliance  with  the  Duke  of  Ferrara, 

Frederick  II.,  Emperor,  i.  30 

Fregoso,  ii.  152 

Frescoes  of  the  Camera  degli  Sposi, 
i.  35 

Friars  Minor,  island  of  the,  ii.  100 

Frisio,  Niccolo,  i.  292  ;  on  recovering 
busts,  293 

Fritello,  the  dwarf,  i.  52,  134 

Frizzi,  Sioria  di  Ferrara,  i.  2  n.,  265 
n. ;  ii.  382  n. 

Frundsberg,  ii.  253  ;  at  Ferrara,  254 

Furlo  Pass,  i.  229 

Gabbioneta,  Archdeacon,  ii.  215 

Gabriele,  M.  Zoanne,  i.  222 

Gadio,  Stazio,  ii.  6,  44  ;  on  the  illness 
of  the  Pope,  54,  72;  on  the  carnival 
at  Rome,  70 

Gaeta,  surrenders,  i.  188,  263 

Galasso,  the  French  clown,  i.  134 

Galicia,  S.  Jacopo  di,  his  shrine,  ii. 

Gallerani,  Cecilia,  i.  154,  171;  ii.  141; 
her  portrait,  i.  341 

Galley-slaves,  ii.  59 

Gallino,  Jacopo,  tutor  to  Isabella 
d'Este,  i.  9  ;  on  her  departure,  51 

Gambara,  Brunoro,  Imperial  Cham- 
berlain, ii.  304 

Gambara,  Gianfrancesco,  ii.  280 

Gambara,  Uberto,  Governor  of  Bo- 
logna, ii.  298,  304 

Gambara,  Veronica,  ii.  82,  102,  280 ; 
on  Correggio's  Magdalen,  281  ;  at 
Bologna,  304 

Gangelian  Gulf,  ii.  226 

Garda,  Lake  of,  i.  22  ;  ii.  191 ;  visits 
to,  i.  50,  52 ;  ii.  363 

Garigliano,  battle  of  the,  i.  263 

Gattinara,  Cardinal,  Imperial  Chan- 
cellor, ii.  310;  on  the  sack  of  Rome, 

Gayangos,  "  Spanish  Calendar  of 
Letters,"  ii.  251  n. 

Gaye,  Carteggio  d'Artisli,  i.  231  n., 
200  n.,  3o4  n;  ii.  274  n.,  328  n,, 
341  n. 

Gazzuolo,  i.  37  ;  ii.  94 

Genazzano,  i.  257 

Genazzano,  Fra  Mariano  da,  his  ser- 
mons, i.  80 ;  on  the  intelligence  of 
Isabella  d'Este,  80 

Genoa,  ii.  135,  294;  visit  to,  i.  64; 
siege  of,  295  ;  surrender,  295 



Genua,  i.  220 

Germain,  St.,  ii.  286 

Ghiar'  Adda  or  Vaila,  ii.  31 

Ghisi,  Carlo,  ii.  274 

Ghisoli'o,  Bernardo,  i.  125 

Ghivizzano,  i.  240 ;  on  the  election  of 
the  Pope,  255 

Gianfiancesco  I.,  Prince  of  Mantua, 
i.  19  ;  his  library,  20 

Gianf rancesco  II. ,  Marquis  of  Mantua, 
i.  20 ;  his  reforms,  20 ;  patron  of 
learning,  20 

Giberto  I.,  lord  of  Correggio,  ii.  280 

Giers,  Marechal  de,  i.  152 

Giorgio,  Bishop  Giovanni,  Marquis  of 
Montferrato,  ii.  331 

Giorgio,  San,  bridge  of,  i.  20 

Giorgione,  his  death,  i.  389  ;  his  pic- 
tures, 390 ;  ii.  229 

Giotto,  i.  1  ;  his  frescoes,  109 

Giovio,  Paolo,  i.  88,  280;  ii.  148,  259; 
Delle  Impresse,  205  n.  ;  on  the 
death  of  Adrian  VI.,  232 ;  on  the 
device  adopted  by  Isabella,  240 ;  at 
the  Vatican,  247  ;  Vita  P.  Colonna, 
259  n.  ;  loss  of  his  MSS.,  270 ;  at 
Bologna,  304 

Girardo,  i.  192 

Giustinian,  A.,  Dispacci,  i.  249  n. 

Giustiniani,  Marcantouio,  amount  of 
his  ransom,  ii.  264 

Giustizia,  Palazzo  della,  ii.  239 

Gnoli,  D.,  Giudizio,  ii.  167  n. 

Goito,  i.  26,  50 ;  ii.  95 

Goldschmidt,  M.  Leopold,  ii.  285  n. 

Golfo,  Sigismondo,  i.  66,  186 

Gonzaga,  Agostino,  ii.  162;  on  the 
sermons  of  Fra  Bernardino  Ochino, 

Gonzaga,  Alessandro,  i.  23 ;  ii.  143 ; 
his  character,  233  ;  at  the  siege  of 
Rome,  261 

Gonzaga,  Barbara,  her  character,  i, 
28 ;  encouragement  of  the  cloth 
manufacture,  28 ;  love  for  her 
adopted  country,  29  ;  her  daughters, 
31-33 ;  on  the  meeting  between 
Dorotea  and  Galeazzo,  32;  death, 
38.     See  Brandenburg 

Gonzaga,  Madonna  Camilla,  ii.  94, 
243.  305;  her  wedding,  147;  in 
Rome,  247 

Gonzaga,  Carlo,  i.  3,  24 

Gonzaga,  Cecilia,  pupil  of  Vittorino, 
i.  23  ;  her  learning,  23  ;  enters  the 
Convent  of  Corpus  Domini,  24; 
her  death,  24 

Gonzaga,  Cesare,  settles  at  Urbino, 
i.  270 ;  on  duty  at  Modena,  271 

Gonzaga,  Chiara,  Duchess  of  Mont- 
pensier,  her  marriage,  i.    38;    at 

Mantua,  43,  113,  121,  128;  death 
of  her  husband,  140;  her  death, 
253.     See  Montpetisier 

Gonzaga,  Dorotea,  her  deformity,  i. 
31 ;  betrothal,  31,  33;  death,  33 

Gonzaga,  Elisabetta,  at  Ferrara,  i.  8  ; 
confirmation,  8;  delicacy,  38;  be- 
trothal, 42;  affection  for  her  brother 
Francesco,  43 ;  journey  to  Urbino, 
43 ;  reception,  44 ;  wedding,  44. 
See  Urbino 

Gonzaga,  Ercole,  his  birth,  i.  277; 
consecrated  Bishop,  ii.  209 ;  re- 
ception at  Bologna,  213-215  ;  his 
tutors,  215  ;  studies,  216-218,  219  ; 
amusements,  218 ;  attack  of  ague, 
219  ;  affection  for  Pomponazzi,  220, 
221 ;  appointed  Cardinal,  256,  267  ; 
his  poi-trait,  278 ;  love  of  art  and 
letters,  279;  on  the  cast  of  a  por- 
trait-medal of  Aristotle,  370 

Gonzaga,  Federico,  his  marriage,  i. 
30  ;  Marquis  of  Mantua,  37 ;  death 
of  his  wife,  37  ;  of  his  mother,  38  ; 
love  for  his  daughters,  38  ;  absence 
from  Mantua,  38 ;  employment  of 
Andrea  Mantegna,  40 ;  death,  41 

Gonzaga,  Federico,  Duke  of  Mantua, 
his  birth,  i.  177  ;  christening,  178  ; 
godfathers,  178 ;  proposed  be- 
trothal, 227 ;  portrait,  379-381  ; 
ii.  53,  72-74,  161,  339;  sent  to 
Rome  as  hostage,  44 ;  lodged  in 
the  Belvedere,  44 ;  his  education, 
45  ;  life  in  Rome,  46  ;  liberality, 
47 ;  at  Bologna,  47,  309 ;  Urbino, 
48  ;  Ostia,  54 ;  his  influence  over 
the  Pope,  54,  58 ;  visits  the 
churches,  58;  on  the  death  of  the 
Pope,  75 ;  permission  to  return 
home,  75  ;  his  character,  121  ;  edu- 
cation, 121-123  ;  Pt  Milan,  123  ;  at 
the  French  court,  124 ;  his  acci- 
dent, 134  ;  betrothal,  135,  326,  333 ; 
succeeds  to  the  title,  156 ;  ap- 
pointed Captain-General  of  the 
Church,  185,  198,  231  ;  at  Venice, 
188,  387;  his  devotion  to  Isabella 
Boschetti;  189,  239,  240;  in  com- 
mand of  the  papal  troops,  190 ; 
captures  Milan,  190 ;  negotiations 
with  Francis  I.,  192  ;  defence  of 
Pavia,  199;  letter  to  his  cousins, 
203  ;  return  to  Mantua,  234  ;  breaks 
off  his  engagement,  240  ;  on  the 
death  of  Giovanni  delle  Bande 
Nere,  253 ;  his  architectural  works, 
273  ;  created  Duke  of  Mantua,  309, 
325 ;  preparations  for  the  visit  of 
Charles  V.,  309,  317 ;  reception  of 
him,  323;  renewal  of  his  suit  to 



Maria  Paloologa,  332;  at  Casale, 
334;  his  wedding,  334-33G ;  col- 
lection of  pictures,  339;  claims 
Montferrato,  3ijl;  Vjirth  of  a  son, 
351  ;  failing  health,  387 ;  deuth 

Gonzaga,  Ferrante,  his  birth,  i.  293; 
his  abilities,  ii.  237  ;  in  Spain,  241  ; 
joins  the  Imperialists,  255 ;  at  the 
siege  of  Rome,  260;  meeting  with 
his  mother,  2G2 ;  on  her  escape 
from  Rome,  2G9;  marches  against 
Florence,  295;  at  the  Imperial 
camp,  Castiglione  di  Arezzo,  295 ; 
on  the  surrender  of  Cortona,  295 ; 
strength  of  his  forces,  295 ;  matri- 
monial schemes,  807 ;  marriage, 
308,  345 ;  in  command  of  the  Im- 
perial armies,  326 ;  commission  to 
Titian,  327-330;  betrothal,  330; 
demands  for  money,  345 

Gonzaga,  Francesco,  Marquis  of  Man- 
tua, his  betrothal,  i.  3,  38  ;  at  Fer- 
rara,  5,  8  ;  attentions  to  his  bride, 
6  ;  gift  of  a  picture  by  Mantegna, 
6-8  ;  on  the  visit  of  Lorenzo  del 
Medici,  39  ;  character,  41,  46 ;  re- 
gard for  Mantegna,  42 ;  affection 
for  his  sisters,  42,  45;  appointed 
captain  -  general  of  the  Venetian 
armies,  45,  128,  274;  appearance, 
46  ;  portraits,  46  ;  dissensions  with 
his  uncles,  47 ;  letter  to  his  wife, 
53  ;  at  Bologna,  58  ;  Milan,  60  ; 
attends  the  races  at  Brescia,  63 ; 
his  sword  of  state,  73 ;  at  Venice, 
102,  139;  his  new  palace,  106; 
request  for  a  map  of  Paris,  107  ; 
affection  for  his  daughter  Leonora, 
112,  136  ;  on  the  arrival  of  French 
ambassadors,  112;  refuses  pro- 
posals of  Charles  VIII.,  113  ;  ap- 
pointed captain  of  the  League, 
115 ;  on  the  battle  of  the  Taro, 
119;  his  prowess,  120;  at  Novara, 
122  ;  increase  of  his  salary,  123  ; 
reception  by  Charles  VIII.,  123  ; 
triumphal  entry  into  Mantua,  124  ; 
memorial,  124  ;  in  Rome,  137  ;  pre- 
sented with  the  golden  rose,  137 ; 
attack  of  fever,  138 ;  return  home, 
138,  263 ;  dismissal,  141  ;  device, 
142,  165;  motto,  142;  efforts  to 
propitiate  the  Signory,  143 ;  his 
mistress,  144;  tortuous  policy,  145; 
offered  the  command  of  the  allied 
forces,  146  ;  his  overtures  to  Louis 
XII.,  151 ;  meeting  at  Milan,  152  ; 
his  suspicions  of  Caesar  Borgia, 
180  ;  anxiety  for  his  sister's  safety, 
180;  fears  for  his  life,  236;  de- 

nounces Caesar  Borgia,  239  ;  recon- 
ciliation, 210;  in  France,  242;  on 
the  death  of  Alexander  VI.,  256; 
his  campaign  in  Naples,  263 ;  re- 
signs Ijis  command,  263 ;  his  re- 
sentment against  Castiglione,  270 ; 
declines  the  post  of  Captain-general 
of  the  Republic,  275;  joins  the 
Pope  at  Perugia,  283  ;  on  his  entry 
into  Bologna,  285 ;  on  restoring 
the  Camera  Dipinta,  285 ;  at  the 
siege  of  Genoa,  295 ;  appointed 
Grand  Master  of  the  Order  of  St. 
Michel,  295;  his  illness,  306;  ii. 
56,  86,  94;  taken  prisoner,  32; 
captivity,  38 ;  release,  44 ;  ap- 
pointed Gonfalionereof  the  Church, 
44;  his  irritability,  86;  will,  154; 
death,  155;  funeral,  156 

Gonzaga,  Francesco,  Ambassador  in 
Rome,  ii.  133,  245  ;  on  the  death 
of  Elisabetta,  249  ;  at  the  wedding 
of  the  Duke  of  Mantua,  334  ;  con- 
spiracy against  Federico,  346  ;  put 
to  death,  346 

Gonzaga,  Francesco,  his  birth,  ii. 
351 ;  succeeds  to  the  title,  387  ; 
marriage  and  death,  387 

Gonzaga,  Francesco,  at  the  Univer- 
sity of  Pavia,  i.  30 ;  created  a 
Cardinal,  30 ;  love  of  music  and 
antiques,  33  ;  appointed  papal 
legate,  34  ;  entry  into  Mantua,  34 

Gonzaga,  Gianfrancesco,  i,  173  ;  at 
Anspach,  29  ;  bequeathed  the  prin- 
cipality of  Bozzolo  and  Sabbioneta, 
37  ;  his  marriage,  47 ;  increasing 
infirmities,  47 

Gonzaga,  Gianlucido,  i.  23 

Gonzaga,  Giovanni,  i.  41 ;  affection 
for  Isabella  d'Este,  48  ;  his  wed- 
ding, 58  ;  on  the  news  of  the  sur- 
render of  Lodovico,  156  ;  on  the 
death  of  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  307  ; 
his  death,  ii.  232 

Gonzaga,  Giovanni  Pietro,  i.  105 

Gonzaga,  Ginlia,  ii.  243 ;  her  wedding, 
i.  252 

Gonzaga,  Giulio,  his  birth,  ii.  365 

Gonzaga,  Guglielmo,  his  long  reign, 
ii.  387 

Gonzaga,  Ippolita,  her  birth,  i.  263 

Gonzaga,  Isabella,  her  marriage,  ii. 

Gonzaga,  Laura,  i.  200,  310.  See 

Gonzaga,  Leonora  Violante  Maria, 
her  birth,  i.  104  ;  sponsors,  105  ; 
betrothal,  267 ;  portrait,  267  ;  her 
meeting  with  the  Duke  of  Urbino, 
310 ;  appearance,  311  ;  her  journey 



to  Urbino,  ii.  35  ;   impression   on 
the  court,  37.     See  Urbino 
Gonraga,   Livia,   her   birth,    i.    186 ; 

illness  and  death,  306 
Gonzaga,  Livia  Osanna,  her  birth,  i. 

311  ;  vowed  to  the  cloister,  312 
Gonzaga,  Lodovico,  i.  3  ;  defeats  the 
Buonacolsi,  19  ;  pupil  of  Vittorino, 
22  ;   at  the  camp  of  Filippo  Vis- 
conti,  24 ;  reconciliation  with  his 
father,  24  ;  marriage,  24  ;  literary 
ta»tes,  25  ;  interest  in  natural  his- 
tory,  2G  ;   decoration  of  his  capi- 
tal, 26  ;  sculptors  and  painters,  26  ; 
love  of  antiquity,  27  ;  kindness  to 
Andrea  Mantegna,  27;  his  wife,  28; 
daughters,   31-33 ;   sons,   33  ;    his 
death,  37  ;    division  of  his  State, 
Gonzaga,  Lodovico,  Bishop  of  Man- 
tua, i.   33 ;    bequeathed  Gazzuolo, 
37  ;  his  efforts  to  obtain  the  Cardi- 
nal's hat,  47  ;  his  death,  282 
Gonzaga,  Bishop  Louis,  i.  170,  371 
Gonzaga,  Lucia,  i.  3 
Gonzaga,  Luigi,  i.  270  ;  ii.  127,  364 
Gonzaga,  Luigia,  ii.  341 
Gonzaga,  Margarita,  at  Urbino,  ii.  48  ; 

betrothal,  48 
Gonzaga,  Margherita,  i.  3  ;  her  por- 
trait,  3 ;    elegance  of    her  Latin 
letters,  23 
Gonzaga,  Margherita,    her  birth,   i. 

135 ;  death,  136 
Gonzaga,   Duchess  Margherita.    See 

Gonzaga,  Maddalena,  i.  38 ;  her  be- 
trothal, 42  ;  marriage,  45  ;  sudden 
death,  52 
Gonzaga,  Pirro,  ii.  142, 143  ;  his  mar- 
riage, i.  385  ;  at  Bologna,  ii.  213 
Gonzaga,   Rodolfo,   at   the   court   of 
Charles  the  Bold,  i.  29;  bequeathed 
Castiglione,  37 
Gonzaga,  Sigismondo,  at  the  Univer- 
sity of  Pavia,  i.  41 ;   Monsignore  il 
protonotario,  48  ;  accompanies  Isa- 
bella to  Venice,  98,  217  ;    negotia- 
tions for  the  Cardinal's  hat,  137  ; 
on  the  birth  of  Isabella's  fourth 
daughter,  262 ;  proclaimed  Cardi- 
nal, 267 ;   on  the   death  of  Pope 
Julius   II.,   ii.   74  ;    candidate  for 
the  Papacy,  194  ;  appearance,  194 ; 
character,  194  ;  on  the  election  of 
Adrian  VI.,  197  ;  his  death,  248 
Gonzaga,  Susanna,  her  deformity,  i. 

Gonzaga,  Madonna  Susanna,  ii.  94 
Gortz,  Count  von,  i.  33 
Governolo,  ii.  253,  267 

Grandi,  Ercole,  ii.  172 

Grassi  Paride,  Biarii,  ii.  51  n.,  55  n., 
63  n. 

Gravina,  Duke  of,  his  capture,  i. 

Gregorio,  Convent  of  San,  ii.  58 

Gregorovius,  F.,  Lucrezia  Borgia,  i. 
179  n.,  193  n.,  199  n.,  214  n.,248n., 
250  n.,  257  n. ;  ii.  158  n. ;  Rom,  ii. 
254  n.,  259  n.,  262  n. 

Gregory  XIII.,  Pope,  ii.  364 

Grignano,  ii.  101,  106 

Grimani,  Antonio,  ii.  230 

Grimani,  Marco,  his  escape  from 
Rome,  ii.  264 

Gritti,  Andrea,  elected  Doge,  ii.  230 ; 
alliance  with  Charles  V.,  231 ;  his 
reception  of  Isabella  d'Este,  234 

Grossino,  ii,  53;  on  the  churches  of 
Rome,  59 ;  on  the  statue  of  the 
river-god  Tiber,  60;  the  Feast  of 
the  Jews,  60  ;  on  the  portrait  of 
Federico  Gonzaga,  73 

Grotta,  Studio  of  the,  foundation, 
i.  158  ;  poem  on,  1.58  ;  the  marble 
doorway,  165  ;  collection  of  paint- 
ings and  works  of  art,  272  ;  ii.  377- 
379 ;  library,  379-381 

Grottaferrata,  ii.  60 

Gruyer,  Gustave,  L'Art  Perrarais  d 
Vipoque  de$  Princes  d'Este,  i.  13  n., 
74  n.,  376  n. 

Guarino,  Battista,  tutor  to  Isabella 
d'Este,  i.  9,  41  ;  letter  to,  51,  66  ; 
on  the  death  of  Duchess  Leonora, 

Guastalla,  principality  of,  ii.  345 

Guasti,  Saeco  di  Prato,  ii.  68  n. 

Gubbio,  i.  109,  196 

Gubbio,  Messer  Salviati  da,  ii.  295 

Guicciardini,  ii.  64  ;  on  the  return  of 
Francesco  Maria  to  his  Duchy, 
192 ;  Opere  inedite,  255  n.,  266  n. ; 
on  his  conduct,  265  ;  Storia  d' Italia, 
286  n.  ;  at  Bologna,  304 

Guinea,  discovery  of  a  new  island,  i. 

Guise,  Duke  Francis  of,  ii.  361 
Gurk,    Matthaus    Lang,    Bishop    of, 
present    from    Isabella   d'Este,  ii. 
39  ;  at  Mantua,  51  ;  interview  with 
her,  51 ;  at  the  Congress  of  Man- 
tua, 65  ;  at  the  Vatican,  69  ;  Milan, 
Gusnasco,  Lorenzo,  i.  129  ;  Carlo  deW 
Acqua,  154  n. 

Halicabnassus,   discovery    of    the 

Tomb  at,  ii.  17 
Henchener,  Cardinal  Wilhelm,  at  the 

coronation  of  Charles  V.,  ii.  313 



Henry  VII.  confers  the  Order  of  the 
Garter  on  the  Duke  of  Urbino,  i. 

Henry  VIII.,  his  accession,  ii.  173  ; 
festivities  at  his  court,  174 ;  tour- 
nament, 175 

Hercules,  statue  of,  ii.  9,  45 

Hibernia,  Island  of,  ii.  180 

Hieronimo,  Messer,  i.  290 

Hoffmann,  B.,  Barbara  von  Hofien- 
zollem,  i.  25  n. 

Hungary,  Matthias  Corvinus,  King 
of,  i.  104 

IMOLA,  i.  196,  284 ;  ii.  296 
Imola,  Vincenzo  da,  i.  210 
Incoronata,  chapel  of  the,  i.  26 
Inghirami,  Cardinal  Tommaso,  ii.  9, 

Innocent  VIII.,  Pope,  i.  42;  employs 

Andrea  Mantegna,  18 
Intra,    G.    B.,    Arch.    St.    Lomb.,    ii. 

346  n. 
Ippolito,  Matteo,  i.  380 ;  ii.  44 
Ireland,  experiences  in,  ii.  177-180; 

impressions  of,  180 
Italy,  league  for  the  defence  of,  ii. 

231;    condition,    272;    desolation, 

272 ;  outbreak  of  plague,  273 

Jacquemart,  M.,  ii.  368 

Jews,  Feast  of  the,  ii.  60 

Julius  II.,  elected  Pope,  i.  258 ;  wed- 
ding of  his  daughter,  268 ;   expedi- 
tion against    Perugia,    283;    sum- 
mons Francesco,  284;    at  Urbino, 
284;     Imola,    284;    ceremony    at 
Bologna,  285 ;  his  gift  to  Leonora 
Gonzaga,   ii.   35  ;   pronounces   the 
absolution  of  Venice,  42;  reception 
of  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Urbino, 
42 ;   on  the  release  of  Francesco, 
43;    his  collection  of  statues,  44; 
declares  war  against  the  Duke  of 
Ferrara,  47 ;  affection  for  Federico 
48,  53 ;  his  campaign  against  Fer 
rara,    50;    truce    proclaimed,    51 
portrait,  53  ;   illness,  54 ;  recovery, 
55  ;  opens  the  Lateran  Council,  57 
absolves  Alfonso,  63  ;  his  terms  re 
fused,  63;  proceedings  against,  63 
attack  of  fever,  72 ;  death,  74 

Justiniano,  M.  Pietro,  i.  222 

KiLDARE,  ii.  177 

Kristeller,  Paul,  Andrea  Mantegna,  i. 
8  n.,  106  n.,  162  n.,  363  n. ;  Archivio 
Qonzaga,  90  n.  ;  Barbara  von  Brand- 
enburg, 33  ». ;  HohemoUern  Jahrbuch, 
26  n. 

Laciso,  ii.  102 

Lanciani,  R.,  "  Destruction  of  Rome," 

ii.  269  n. 

Landi,  Ortensio,  ii.  282 

Lannoy,  Viceroy  of  Naples,  in  com- 
mand of  the  Imperialists,  ii.  254 ; 
negotiations  with  the  Pope,  254; 
signs  a  truce,  254  ;  at  Siena,  255 

Laocoon,  statue  of,  ii.  6,  44,  60 

Lateran  Council,  opened,  ii.  57 

Lautrec,  at  Mantua,  ii.  132 ;  hatred 
towards,  184;  campaign  against, 
190;  concentrates  his  forces  at 
Pavia,  199 ;  defeated,  199 ;  cam- 
paign in  Naples,  286 ;  his  death,  293 

Lavagnola,  Isabella,  ii.  87 ;  insult 
against,  88  ;  character,  88,  91 

League,  a  Holy,  proclaimed,  ii.  56 ; 
army  of  the,  defeated  at  Ravenna, 

Legnago,  ii.  32 

Leo  X.,  Pope,  i.  269 ;  his  clavichord, 
ii.  29 ;  proclaimed  Pope,  76  ;  coro- 
nation, 79;  designs  against  the 
Duke  of  Urbino,  125,  189;  permits 
him  to  reside  at  Mantua,  129 ; 
terms,  132;  condolences  on  the 
death  of  the  Marquis  of  Mantua, 
157;  treaty  with  Charles  V.,  183, 
185 ;  his  admiration  for  Isabella 
d'Este,  184 ;  intrigues  against 
Alfonso,  189;  his  death,  190;  por- 
trait, 245,  339 

Leombruno,  Lorenzo,  i.  334;  ii.  201; 
his  decoration  of  the  Corte  Vecchia, 

Leptopalidano,  i.  226 

Lcrmolieff,  Oallerie  zu  Berlin,  ii.  368  n. 

Ley  va,  Antonio  de,  ii.  199 ;  his  de- 
fence of  Pavia,  238;  defeats  St. 
Pol's  army,  293  ;  at  Bologna,  298  ; 
granted  the  city  of  Pavia  for  life, 
310;  at  the  wedding  of  the  Duke 
of  Mantua,  334,  335 

Liburnio,  Niccolo,  ii.  371 ;  Le  Sdvette, 
371  n. 

Ligny,  Mons.  de,  i.  152,  185 

Liombeni,  Luca,  his  decoration  of 
Isabella's  studiolo,  i.  88 ;  threatened 
with  the  dungeon,  89 

Lippi,  Filippino,  i.  330 

Litta,  Famvjlie  celebri,  ii.  308  n., 
364  n.,  387  n. 

Loches,  chateau  at,  i.  242 

Lodi,  ii.  251 

Lombardo,  TuUio,  his  marble  door, 
ii.  205 

Lombardy,  invasion  of,  by  the  French, 
ii.  93 ;  war  in,  272 ;  inundation, 

Lonato,  ii.  95 



London,  outbreak  of  sweating  sick- 
ness, ii.  181 

Longinus,  the  centurion,  i.  26 

Longueil,  Christophe,  in  Rome,  ii. 
166  ;  accused  of  high  treason,  166 ; 
trial,  167  ;  his  Latin  defence,  167  ; 
vindication,  168  ;  death,  168 

Longueville,  Madame  de,  ii.  40 

Loredano,  Messer  Andrea,  i.  361 

Lorenzi,  Monumenti  per  la  storia  d. 
Pal.  ducale,  ii.  33  n. 

Loreto,  ii.  244 ;  pilgrimage  to,  i. 
108 ;  ii.  189  ;  Campanile  of,  13 

Louis  XII.,  i.  146  ;  alliance  with  the 
Pope,  151  ;  entry  into  Milan,  152; 
treaty  with  Ferdinand,  188 ;  at 
Milan,  235 ;  receives  the  exiled 
princes,  235;  welcome  to  Caesar 
Borgia,  238 ;  his  treatment  of  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua,  242  ;  reverses 
in  Naples,  250  ;  raises  a  new  army, 
250;  loss  of  Naples,  263;  at  the 
siege  of  Genoa,  295 ;  reception  of 
Isabella  d'Este  at  Milan,  297 ; 
invites  her  to  France,  303 ;  his 
intention  to  visit  Italy,  ii.  39,  41 ; 
his  death,  117;  marriage  of  his 
daughter,  286 

Lucca,  races  at,  i.  63 

Lucca,  Ammonio  of,  his  death,  ii. 

Lucido,  M.  Giovanni,  i.  246 ;  on 
Caesar  Borgia,  261 

Lutheran  movement,  ii.  224 

Luxembourg,  Count  Jacques  de,  ii. 

Luzio,  A.  "  Federico  Gonzaija,"  ii. 
164  TU  ;  his  pamphlet  Gara  clei 
Viagr/i,  1.  305  n.',  I  Precettori 
d'Isabella  d'Este,  4  n.,  6  n.,  52  n., 
67  n.,  81  n.  89  n.,  187  n.,  214  n., 
215  n.,  225  n.,  242  n.,  315  «.,  320  n.; 
ii.  151  n.;  I  lUtratti  d' Isabella  d'Este, 
i.  93  n.;  Rivista  Mantovana,  ii. 
330  n.,  333  «.,  353  n.,  382  n.,  384  n. 

Luzio  e  Eenier,  Archivio  Storico 
Lombardo,  i.  48  n.,  53  «.,  57  n., 
61n.,  98n.,  113  n.,  115  n.,  118  n., 
123  n.,  144  n.,  145  n.,  147  n.,  154  n., 
159  n.,  165  n.,  233  n.,  323  n.,  327  n.; 
ii.  10  n.,  83  n.,  87  n.,  114  n.,  121  n., 
124n.,139n.,  202  n.,  285  n.,  364  n.; 
Giom.  Stor.  d.  Lett,  i.  10  n.,  60  n., 
76  n.,  166  n.,  239  n.,  263  n.,  280  n., 
314  n.;  ii.  20  n.,  23  n.,  27  «.,  34  n., 
51  n.,56  n.,  87  n.,  140  n.,  150  n.,  152  n., 
196  n.,  208  n.,  213  n.,  222 n.,  230  n., 
241  n.,  279  n.,  347  n.,  386  n.; 
Mantova  e  Urbino,  i.  9  «.,  39  n., 
43  n.,  44  n.,  45  n.,  50  n.,  51  n,,  52  n., 
69n.,  97«.,  102  n.,  105  n.,   109  n., 

112  «.,  136  n.,  170  n.,  178  n.,  182  n., 
218  n.,  228  n.,  237  n.,  241  n.,  255  n., 
265  n.,  268  w.,  284  n.,  307  n.,  309  n.. 
311  n.;  ii.  6  n.,  35  n.,  68  n.,  69  n., 
117  n.,  127  n.,  170  n.,  187n.,  23G  n., 
239  n.,  242  n.,  250  n.,  268  n.,  344  n., 

365  n.;  Nuova  Antoloyia,  i.  55  n., 
63n.,  73n.,  116  n.,  138  n.,  215  n., 
227  «.;  ii.  41  n.,  81  n.,  124  «., 
131  «.,  134  «.,  207  n.,  345  n.,  364  n., 

366  n. 

Lyons,  ii,  133 ;  treaty  signed  at,  i. 

Machiavelli,  Niccolo,  at  Mantua, 
i.  274 ;  on  the  defeat  of  the 
Venetians,  ii.  32 

Macintosh,  Miss,  ii.  165 

Madonna  della  Vittoria,  church  of 
the,  i.  125 

Madrid,  ii.  236;  Treaty  of,  signed, 

Maflfei,  Count  Niccolo,  i.  328 

Maffei,  Count  Nicola,  ii.  334 

Magellan,  his  journey  round  the 
world,  ii.  225 

Magenta,  Carlo,  /  Visconti  e  Sforza 
nel  Castello  di  Pavia,  i.  56  n. 

Maguzano,  ii.  96,  191 

Mahomet  II.,  Sultan,  his  portrait,  i. 

Maineri,  Gianfrancesco,  i.  150 

Malalbergo,  i.  198,  200 

Malamocco,  i.,  139  ;  forts  of,  98 

Malaspina,  Carlo,  ii.  281 

Malatesta,  Carlo,  his  treatment  of 
Virgil's  statue,  i.  173 

Malatesta,  Francesco,  i.  247  ;  on  the 
sketch  of  Angelo  Tovaglia's  house, 
318 ;  on  Lorenzo  dei  Medici's 
vases,  322 

Malatesta,  Paola,  i.  20 

Malvezzi,  Luca,  ii.  32 

Manfredi,  Astorre,  taken  captive  to 
Rome,  i.  188 

Manfredi,  Manfredo  de,  letter  from, 
i.  321 

Mantegna,  Andrea,  his  pictures,  i. 
6-8,  90,  91,  124,  272,  287,  359, 
370 ;  absence  from  Isabella  d'Este's 
wedding,  17;  in  Rome,  18;  his 
treatment  at  Mantua,  27 ;  his 
frescoes  of  the  Camera  degli  Sposi, 
35 ;  employed  by  Federico  and 
Francesco  Gonzaga,  40,  42 ;  his 
portraits,  46,  91 ;  return  from 
Rome,  86 ;  his  paintings  for  the 
Studio  of  the  Grotta,  161,  317; 
his  death,  285,  369;  illness,  359, 
363 ;  appeal  on  behalf  of  his  son, 
362  ;    pecuniary    difficulties,   363 ; 



appeal  to  Isabella  for  belp,  864; 
price  of  his  bust  of  Faustina,  365  ; 
his  sketch  of  Comas,  366  ;  pictures 
in  his  workshop,  370;  his  Tondo, 
ii.  172 

Mantegna,  Francesco,  his  series  of 
Triumphs  at  Marniirolo,  i.  106 ; 
repairs  the  Camera  Bipinta,  290 ; 
banished  from  Mantua,  3G2  ;  char- 
acter, 870 

Mantua,  Federico,  Marquis  of.  See 

Mantua,  Federico,  Duke  of.  See 

Mantua,  Francesco,  Marquis  of.  See 

Mantua,  Duchess  Margherita,  entry 
into  Mantua,  ii.  343 ;  her  char- 
acter, 345  ;  birth  of  a  son,  351 

Mantua,  entry  into,  i.  16;  festivities, 
17;  population,  19;  prosperity 
under  the  Gonzaga  princes,  19 ; 
printing-press,  26 ;  carnival  fStes 
at,  183;  ii.  188;  plays,  i.  264; 
ii.  349 ;  outbreak  of  plague,  i.  279, 
283,  359;  ii.  273;  number  of 
deaths,  i.  283;  Congress  at,  ii. 
65 ;  manufacture  of  embroidered 
caps,  366  ;  sacked  by  the  Germans, 

Mantua,  Castello,  frescoes  of  the 
Camera  degli  Sposi,  i.  35 ;  Palaz- 
zina,  ii.  336 

Mantua,  Duomo,  chapel  of  the  In- 
coronata,  i.  26 ;  churches  of  S. 
Sebastian  and  S.  Andrea,  26 ;  Area 
di  S.  Anselmo,  38 

Mantua,  General  Council  of  1459,  i. 

"  Mantua-maker,"  origin  of  the  word, 
ii.  367 

Manuel,  Don  Juan,  Imperial  Am- 
bassador, ii.  195 

Manuzio,  Aldo,  i.  77,  133,  223,  341  ; 
ii.    149 ;   his   editions   of  classical 
authors,    21  ;    letter    to    Isabella 
d'Este,  24  ;  price  of  his  books,  26  ; 
arrest  and  imprisonment,  27  ;   re- 
lease, 28  ;  death,  29 
Maramaldo,  Signer  Fabrizio,  ii.  328 
Marcello,   Alvise,   i.   221,    223  ;    his 
efforts  to  obtain  Bellini's  picture, 
Marchese,  Leonello,  ii.  154,  202 
Marchetto,  i.  271  ;  ii.  38 
Maria  della  Grazie,  S.,  i.  106 
Maria  sopra  Minerva,  Sta.,  Dominican 

Convent  of,  ii.  60 
Mariano,  Fra.     See  Fetti 
Marignano,  defeat  of  the  Swiss  at,  ii. 

Marino,  i.  181  ;  castle  of,  ii.  63 

Mario,  Monto,  ii.  258 

Marmirolo,  villa  of,  i.  40 ;  decorations, 
106  ;  palace,  banquet  at,  ii.  324 

Maroscello,  Margherita.  See  Can- 

Marot,  Clement,  his  hymn  on  Ren^e 
de  France,  ii.  290  ;  at  Ferrara,  384 

Marseilles,  ii.  124 

Martinati,  Notizie  intorno  di  Cattig- 
Hone,  ii.  190  n. 

Martini,  Don  Giovanni,  the  German 
Kapellmeister,  i.  10,  57  ;  his  sing- 
ing lessons,  86 

Mattello,  on  the  birth  of  Isabella's 
daughter,  i.  104 ;  his  imitations, 
134  ;  death,  134 

Maximilian,  Emperor,  league  with 
the  Duke  of  Milan,  i.  146  ;  sponsor, 
178 ;  his  letter  on  Aldo  Manuzio, 
ii.  28  ;  death,  154 

May-day,  revels  held  on,  ii.  246 

Medici,  Alessandro  dei,  Duke  of 
Florence,  ii.  294 

Medici,  Cardinal  Giovanni  dei,  on  the 
illness  of  the  Pope,  ii.  54  ;  taken 
prisoner,  57  ;  proclaimed  Pope  Leo 
X.,  76 

Medici,  Cardinal  Giulio  dei,  elected 
Pope  Clement  VII.,  ii.  194,  195,  232 

Medici,  Caterina  dei,  ii.  159 ;  pro- 
posed marriage,  198 

Medici,  Giovanni  dei,  at  Mantua,  i. 

Medici,  Giovanni  deUe  Bande  Nere, 
ii.  253 

Medici,  Giovanni  Matteo  dei,  ii.  198 

Medici,  Giuliano  dei,  ii.  48,  110 ;  at 
the  Congress  of  Mantua,  65  ;  return 
to  Florence,  67 ;  Gonfaloniere  of 
the  Church,  125 ;  his  illness,  125  ; 
death,  126 
Medici,  Ippolito  dei,  ii.  323  ;  at 
Bologna,  302 ;  raised  to  the  Car- 
dinaiate,  307  ;  his  accident,  324  ; 
sonnets  on  Tullia  of  Aragon,  384 
Medici,    Lorenzo    dei,    his    visit    to 

Mantua,  i.  39  ;  his  vases,  322 
Medici,  Lorenzo  dei,  despot  of  Flor- 
ence, ii.  94 ;   Gonfaloniere  of  the 
Church,  126 ;  seizes  Urbino,  127  ; 
created  Duke  of  Urbino,  129  ;  his 
death,  159 
Medici,  Lorenzo  di  Pierfrancesco  dei, 
sponsor,  i.  105  ;  congratulations  on 
the  birth  of  Isabella's  daughter,  105 
Medici,  Ottaviano  dei,  ii.  245 
Medici,  Piero  dei,  ii.  94 ;  drowned, 

i.  263 
Medina  del  Campo,  Tower  of,  i.  261 
Medola,  benefice  of,  ii.  327 



Meliolo,  Bartolommeo,  appointed 
Master  of  the  Mint,  i.  108 

Mellini,  Celso,  his  accusation  against 
Longueil,  ii.  166  ;  his  Latin  oration, 
167  ;  drowned,  168 

Mellini,  Mario,  ii.  167 

Mereschalchi,  Zanino,  ii.  97 

Messibugo,  his  book  on  Duke  Ercole'e 
banquet,  ii.  292 

Metaurus,  valley  of  the,  i.  229 

Mezzo,  Lago  di,  i.  20 

Michel  Angelo,  i.  233 ;  his  Sleeping 
Cupids,  232,  272;  ii.  6;  paintings 
in  the  Sistina,  62 

Michiel,  Marc  Antonio,  ii.  38 

Middelburg,  ii.  177,  182 

Migliorotti,  Atalante,  i.  85  ;  at  Man- 
tua, 86 

Milan,  Duchess  Bona  of,  i.  4,  40.  See 

Milan,  Filippo  Visconti,  Duke  of,  i. 
24.     See  Visconti 

Milan,  Francesco  Sforza,  Duke  of, 
restoration  to  the  Duchy,  ii.  184, 
198 ;  reception,  199 ;  evacuates 
Milan,  238  ;  wounded,  309 ;  re- 
ception by  Charles  V.,  309;  receives 
the  investiture  of  Milan,  309 ;  at 
the  wedding  of  the  Duke  of  Man- 
tua, 335  ;  his  wedding,  361 ;  death, 

Milan,  Giangaleazzo  Sforza,  Duke  of, 
i.  55 ;  his  betrothal,  31,  33  ;  death 
of  his  father,  33 ;  marriage,  33  ; 
death,  114 

Milan,  Duchess  Isabella  of.  (SeeAragon 

Milan,  Lodovico  Sforza,  proclaimed 
Duke,  i.  114  ;  treaty  of  peace  with 
Charles  VIII.,  123;  death  of  his 
wife,  140 ;  his  league  with  the 
Emperor  Maximilian,  146  ;  at  Man- 
tua, 147 ;  agreement  with  the 
Marquis,  148 ;  on  the  portrait  of 
Isabella,  150;  downfall,  152;  re- 
turn, 155  ;  surrender  at  Novara,  156 

Milan,  Maximilian  Sforza,  Duke  of, 
at  Mantua,  ii.  80  ;  character,  81, 
93 ;  state  entry  into  Milan,  81 ; 
weakness  and  incapacity,  93  ;  sus- 
picion of  his  brother,  93 ;  abdica- 
tion, 120 

Milan,  visits  to,  i.  61,  62 ;  carnival, 
ii.  80;  captured  by  the  Imperialists, 
190,  251 ;  siege,  232 ; evacuated,  238 

Mincio,  i.  20  ;  ii.  95 ;  frozen  over, 
146  ;  overflows,  342 

Miracle-play,  a,  i.  251 

Mirandola,  Galeotto  della,  i.  57 ;  his 
construction  of  a  dyke,  59 

Mirandola,  Messer  Pandolfo  Pico 
della,  ii.  277 

Mirandola,  siege  of,  ii.  50 

Modena,  i.  5  ;  ii.  63,  287  ;  pajjal  camp 
at,  i.  271  ;  capture  of,  ii.  50 

Modesto,  i.  247 

Molino,  M.  Alvise,  i.  222 

Molle,  Ponte,  ii.  265 

Molza,  the  poet,  ii.  247  ;  his  escape 
from  Rome,  270 ;  on  the  sale  of  his 
Library,  279 

Moncada,  Don  Ugo  di,  ii.  252 

Moncenigo,  M.  Alvise,  i.  222 

Mond,  M.  Ludwig,  ii.  340 

Montargis,  ii.  286 

Montefeltro,  Federico  di,  Duke  of 
Urbino,  i.  22  ;  pupil  of  Vittoriao,  22 

Montefeltro,  Odd'  Antonio  di,  i.  23 

MonfeiTato,  Marchioness  Anna  of,  ii. 
40,  135 

Monferrato,  Marquis  Bonifuzio  of,  at 
Bologna,  ii.  302  ;  at  the  coronation 
of  Charles  V.,  313,  315  ;  his  death, 

Monferrato,  Giovanni  Giorgio,  Mar- 
quis of,  succeeds  to  the  title,  ii. 
331 ;  his  marriage,  351  ;  death, 

Monferrato,  Guglielmo  II.,  Marquis 
of,  i.  297 ;  betrothal  of  his  daugh- 
ter, ii.  135;  death,  135 

Monferrato,  Margherita  Paleologa, 
her  betrothal,  ii.  333  ;  marriage, 
335.     See  Mantua,  Duchess  of 

Monferrato,  Maria  Paleologa,  hel 
beti-othal,  ii.  135  ;  broken  oli',  240 

Monferrato,  annexed  to  Mantua,  ii. 

Montpelier,  ii.  182 

Montpensier,  Chiara  Gonzaga,  Du- 
chess of.     See  Gonzaga 

Montpensier,  Gilbert,  Duke  of,  i. 
113;  his  marriage,  38;  retires  to 
Calabria,  128  ;  forced  to  surrender, 
136;  attack  of  fever,  136,  138; 
death,  140 

Morgantino,  the  dwarf,  ii,  363 

Morrison,  Mrs.  Alfred,  i.  150  n. 

Morsolin,  B.,  P.  Ohiericati,  ii.  84  n., 
175  n.  ;  G.  0.  Trissino,  373  n. 

Moschus,  Demetrius,  i.  78 

Miintz,  M.  Eugene,  i.  321  n, 

Murano,  i.  100 

Muratori,  Diario  Ferrarese,  in  Rerum 
Italicarum  Soriptores,  i.  1  n.,  58  n., 
212  n. 

Musocho,  Contessa  di,  1.  298 

Nanino,  the  dwarf,  ii.  81 
Naples,  King  Federico,  his  abdica- 
tion, i.  189  ;  retires  to  France,  189 
Naples,  King  Ferrante  I.,  i.  3 
Naples,  King    Ferrante  II.,   driven 



into  exile,  i.  115  ;  recovers  his  king- 
dom, 128  ;  death,  139  ;  portrait,  139 
Naples,  Infanta  Giulia,  ii.  307.     See 

Naples,  Queen  of,  her  reception  by 

Charles  V.,  ii.  306 
Naples,  Ambassador  of,  i.  15 
Naples,  conquest  of,  i.  115  ;  surren- 
ders, 188  ;  campaign  in,  263  ;  visit 

to,  ii.  114 
Nassau,  Count  of,  at  Bologna,  ii.  302 
Navagero,  his  verses,  ii.  29 ;  librarian 

of    San   Marco,   145 ;    on   Titian's 

picture  of  St.  Jerome,  229 ;  on  a 

gold  cap,  367 
Navarre,  King  of,  i.  261 
Negro,  master  of  the  horse,  i.  150 
Negroponto,  Giorgio  da,  ii.  45 ;   on 

the  discovery  of  the  Hercules  of 

the  Belvedere,  9 
Nepi,  i.  255 
Nere,    Giovanni     delle    Bande,    his 

death,  ii.  253 
Nero,  medal  of,  ii.  9 
Nevers,  Madame  de,  ii.  40 
Nevers,  Duchy  of,  ii.  364 
Norsa,  Daniele,  i.  117,  124 
Novara,  Bartolino  da,  i.  1 ;  architect 

of  the  Castello  Rosso,  20 
Novara,  camp  at,  i.  122 ;   surrender, 

123,  155  ;   battle  of,  ii.  93 ;    taken 

by  the  French,  232 
Novellara,  Camilla  Gonzaga    di,  ii. 

243  ;  in  Rome,  247 
Novellara,  Fra  Pietro  da,  the  Car- 

mellite  Vicar-General,  i.  79,  139  ; 

his  letters  on  Leonardo  da  Vinci, 

319,  320 
Niirnberg,  Diet  of,  ii.  224 
Nys,  Daniel,  1.  233 

Oceanic  Sba,  islands  of  the,  ii.  225 
Ochino,  Fra  Bernardino,  ii.  290;  his 

new  Order  of  Reformed  Friars,  382 ; 

sermons,  382,  384 
Odasio,  i.  307 

Oglio,  river,  ii.  148 ;  overflows,  342 
Olduino,  Messer  Giulio,  ii.  88,  149 
Oliverotto,  murdered,  i.  244 
Omagh,  ii.  177 
Orange,   Prince  of,  ii.   258 ;   in   the 

Vatican,   260  ;    at  Bologna,   307  ; 

death,  826 
Orflec,  Edmond,  ii.  147 
Organ,  an  alabaster,  ii.  207 
Orleans,  Duke  of,  at  Novara,  i.  122 
Orsini,  Fabio,  i.  203 
Orsini,  Giovanni,  lord  of  Bracciano, 

his  wedding,  i.  268 
Orsini,  Paolo,  his  capture,  i.  245 
Orsini,  Rinaldo,  imprisoned,  i.  246 

Orsini  degli  Uberti,  Madonna,  i.  310 

Osanna,  Suor,  her  prophecy  on  Caesar 
Borgia,  i.  255  ;  death,  275  ;  beati- 
fication, 275;  ii.  139;  interment,  312 

Ostia,  ii.  54,  266 

Ostiglia,  Governor  of,  ii.  348 

Pacioli,  Luca,  i.  155 ;  his  "  Book  of 

Games,"  171 

Padua,  i.  101,  224 ;  ii.  32 

Pagano,  i.  75,  121 

Palatine  of  the  Rhine,  Count,  at 
Bologna,  ii.  302 

Paleologa,  Princess  Margherita,  ber 
betrothal,  ii.  332;  wedding,  335. 
See  Mantua,  Duchess  of 

Paleologa,  Maria,  negotiations  for 
her  hand,  ii.  331 ;  death,  332 

Palisse,  La,  ii.  244 

Pcdla,  the  game  of,  i.  21 ;  ii.  123,  324 

Pallavicini,  Antonio,  i.  153,  239  ;  Car- 
dinal di  8.  Prassede,  296 ;  ii.  5 

Pallavicino,  Galeazzo,  i.  154 

Palliano,  castle  of,  ii.  252,  308 

Palmieri,  Mons.,  ii.  275 

Palos,  i.  94 

Pampeluna,  i.  261 

Panicale,  i.  337 

Panizzato,  Niccolo,  lecturer  in  the 
University  of  Ferrara,  i.  66 

Paola,  Sister,  i.  312.  See  Osanna 

Paolo  fuori  le  Mura,  S.,  ii.  58 

Parma,  i.  113  ;  given  up,  ii.  69 

Pasolini,  Caterina  Sjorza,  ii.  253  n. 

Pasquino,  ii.  191,  238 ;  his  verses, 
206 ;  witticisms,  248 

Passavant,  Kunstreise,  ii.  162  n. 

Pastor  "History  of  the  Popes,"  i. 
24  «.,  179  «.,  187  n.,  254  n.,  255  n., 
258  n. ;  ii.  51  n.,  67  n. 

Patrick,  St.,  Purgatory  of,  ii.  178 

Paul  III.,  Pope,  his  proposed  Council, 
ii.  383 ;  at  Ferrara,  386 

Pavia,  Lorenzo  da,  i.  223,  341 ;  or- 
dered to  make  a  clavichord,  129, 
153;  a  lute,  131,  172;  correspond- 
ence with  Isabella  d'Este,  132; 
characteristics,  133 ;  on  her  por- 
trait, 173;  his  efforts  to  obtain 
Giovanni  Bellini's  picture,  344, 
347 ;  on  its  completion,  351 ;  on 
the  death  of  Andrea  Mantegna, 
369  ;  on  the  Aldine  classics,  ii.  21- 
23;  on  the  clavichord  for  Pope 
Leo  X.,  29;  congratulations  on 
the  birth  of  Isabella's  grandson, 
30 ;  death,  30 ;  his  organ  for  the 
Pope, 113 

Pavia,  Maximilian,  Count  of,  his  be» 
trothal,  i.  148 



Pavia,  fetes  at,  i,  61 ;  battle  of,  ii. 
199,  244;  siege  of,  238;  anniversary 
of  the  victory,  314 

Pavia,  Certosa  at,  i.  56,  164 

Pavia,  University  of,  i.  30,  41 

Peace,  proclamation  of,  ii.  310 

Pedro,  Diego  di  San,  La  Cartel  6! Amor, 
ii.  20  n. 

Pelissier,  L.,  Louii  XII.  et  L.  Sforza,  i. 
145  n.,  152  n.  ;  Revue,  historique, 
243  n. 

Pellipario,  Nicolo,  ii.  369 

Pennine,  Monte,  ii.  100 

Pepoli,  Count,  ii.  318 ;  at  Ponte  Molle, 

Peroto,  i.  190 

Perugia,  seized,  i.  244 

Perugino,  i.  163,  his  Triumph  of 
Chastity,  272,  338  ;  defects  of  the 
picture,  339  ;  requested  to  paint  a 
picture  for  the  Grotta,  328  ;  his 
altar-pieces,  328  ;  contract,  330  ; 
instructions,  331-333  ;  delays,  334  ; 
his  absence  from  Florence,  336 ;  at 
Perugia,  337 

Peruzzi,  Baldassarre,  ii.  113 

Pesaro,  i.  108, 196;  ii.  243;  surrender, 
i.  187 

Pescara,  Marquis  of,  ii.  82,  115,  244; 
his  betrothal,  i.  182 ;  taken  pri- 
soner, ii.  57 ;  amours  with  Delia, 
ii.  115,  116 

Pescara,  Marchesa  di,  ii.  115.  See 
Colonna,  Vittoria 

Peschiera,  ii.  83,  99,  102 

Petrarca,  Messcr  Francesco,  i.  1, 167 

Petriolo,  baths  at,  i.  25 

Petronio,  S.,  Cathedral  of,  i.  285 

Petrucci,  Cardinal  Pandolfo,  ii.  117; 
plot  against,  i.  246  ;  deposed,  249 

Philippi,  Domino,  i.  169 

Phillips,  Claude,  "The  Picture  Gal- 
lery of  Charles  I.,"  ii.  162  n. 

Pia,  Alda,  ii.  280 

Pia,  Emilia,  i.  160,  217 ;  ii.  145 ; 
death  of  her  husband,  i.  182;  letters 
to  Isabella  d'Este,  268  ;  her  death, 
ii.  279 

Pia,  Margherita,  i.  154.  See  Sanseve- 
rino,  Margherita  di 

Piacenza,  ii.  253  ;  given  up,  69 

Piccinino,  romances  of,  i.  76 

Piccolomini,  Cardinal,  elected  Pope, 
i.  255  ;  death,  258 

Picenardi,  Alexander,  i.  69 ;  on  the 
return  of  Elisabetta  to  Urbino, 
259 ;  journey  to,  ii.  36 ;  on  the 
majolica,  369 

Pico,  Messer  Pandolfo,  on  the  death 
of  Raphael,  ii.  168 

Pietola,  i.  22,  25  ;  ii.  127 

Pietro,  Fra,  i.  126 
Pieve,  Citth,  della,  i.  337 
Pigafetti,  Antonio,  ii.  225  ;  his  Itin- 
erary, 226  ;  at  Mantua,  227 
Pigliano,  Comte  de,  i.  119 
Pio,  Alberto,  ii.  28,  48,  259,  279 
Pio,  Constantino,  ii.  144 
Pio,  Ercole,  his  Eclogue,  i.  306 
Pio,  Leonello,  ii.  279 
Pio,  Marco,  of  Carpi,  1.  17 
Piombo,  Sebastiano  del,  ii.  248,  277; 

his  portrait  of  Cardinal  Ercole,  278 
Piperario,  Andrea,  ii.  231 
Pisa,  Council  summoned  at,  ii.  52 
Pisanello,  i.  2  ;  his  portraits,  3  ;  fres- 
coes,  12,    26 ;     medal    of    Cecilia 

Gonzaga,  24 
Pisani,  Cardinal,  ii.  363) 
Pisano,  Zorzo,  i.  98 
Pistoia,  his  elegy  on  Mattello,  i.  134  ; 

his  poems,  387  ;  portrait,  391 
Pius  II.,   Pope,  at   the   Council    of 

Mantua,  i.  29 
Pius  III.,  elected  Pope,  i.  258 ;  his 

death, 258 
Pizzino,  Cardinal,  ii.  256 
Plague,  outbreak  of,  at  Ferrara,  ii. 

288  ;  Mantua,  i.  359 ;  ii.  273;  Rome, 

224,  269 
Platina,  his  poem,  "  The  Dream  of 

the  Marquis,  i.  25 ;  tutor  to  Fede- 

rico  Gonzaga,  28 
Po,  the,  i.  5,  12,  16,  43,  55,  265  ;  ii. 

253 ;  frozen   over,  i.   56 ;   ii.  146 ; 

rising  of  the,  341 
Pol,  Mons.  de  St.,ii.  132,  244;  defeat 

of  his  army,  293 
Poland,  King  of,  ii.  114 
Pole,  Reginald,  iL  166 
Poliziano,  Angelo,  his  drama,  "  Or- 

feo,"  i.  34,  86 
Pompeo,  Cardinal,  ii.  252 
Pomponazzi,  Pietro,  his  appearance, 

ii.  149,  217 ;  at  Bologna,  212  ;  his 

"  Treatise  on   the  Immortalitv  of 

the    Soul,"    212;     Apologia,    213; 

lectures,  217  ;   on  the  progress  of 

his  pupil  Ercole,  218  ;  death,  220 ; 

burial,  221 
Ponia,  i.  219 
Pontanus,  on  the  erection  of  a  statue 

to  Virgil,  i.  174 
Ponzone,  on  the  Indians  in  the  New 

World,  i.  96 
Popes,  election  of,  i.  255,  258  ;  ii.  75, 

194,  232 
Porretta,  baths  of,  i.  34,  68 
Porto,  Luigi  da,  Lettere  Storiche,  ii. 

33  n. 
Porto,  ducal  villa  of,  i.  38, 102 ;  ii.  140 ; 

visit  to,  i.  227  ;  gardens  at,  ii.  370 



i'ozzi,  Gian  Lnca,  i.  192 

Pozzuoli,  i.  138 

Praasede,  Cardinal  di  S.,  ii.  5 

Prato,  Cronaca  Arch.  St.  It.,  ii.  81  n. ; 

Cronaca  Milanese,  i.  155  n. 
Prato,  Btormed  and  sacked,  ii.  67 
Praxiteles,  the  Cupid  of,  ii.  6 
Prete,   II.,   on    the    appearance    and 

character   of    Lucrezia  Borgia,   i. 

193 ;  on  the  preparations  for  the 

wedding,  193 
Preti,  Donato  de',  i.  114  ;  ii.  41 
Preti,    Vincenzo    de',    ii.    215  ;    on 

Ercole's    progress   in    his  studies, 

216,  218 
Preti,  Violante  de',  governess  to  the 

daughters  of  Federico  Qonzaga,  i. 

38  ;  her  letters,  38 
Prisciani,  Pellegrino,  ii.  33 ;   on  the 

question  of  Galeotto's  dyke,  i.  59 
Prosper!,  Bernardo  dei,  on  the  blank 

left  by  Isabella  d'Este,  i.  51  ;  on 

the  play  at  Ferrara,  264;   on  the 

deaths     of    Ercole     Strozzi     and 

Niccolo  da  Correggio,  313  ;  on  the 

beauty  of  Isabella,  ii.  134 
Prospero,  Bartolommeo,  ii.  286 
Pucci,    Cardinal,    at     the    siege    of 

Rome,  ii.  259  ;  on  the  proclamation 

of  peace,  310 
Pungileoni,  Elogio,  ii.  162  n.,  338  n. 
Pusterla,  Porta  deUa,  i.  287 

Quarterly  Review,  ii.  250  n. 

Raousa,  Giorgio  da,  goldsmith  of 
Venice,  i.  16 

Rangone,  Guido,  ii.  251 

Rangone,  Count  Niccolo,  i.  71 

Rangoni,  Ginevra,  her  marriage,  i.  169 

Raphael,  his  portrait  of  Julius  II.,  ii. 
53 ;  of  Federico,  53,  72-74,  161  ; 
appointed  architect  of  St.  Peter's, 
112 ;  his  design  for  the  tomb  of  the 
Marquis  of  Mantua,  160 ;  promise 
to  paint  a  picture  for  Isabella,  163  ; 
pictures,  164;  loggia,  165;  death, 
169  ;  his  portrait  of  Leo  X.,  339 

Ravenna,  Bendetto,  Accolti,  Cardinal 
of,  on  the  visit  of  Vittoria  Colonna, 
ii.  385 

Ravenna,  i.  43,  108,  138;  ii.  35; 
battle  of,  67 

Redini,  Fra  Girolamo,  i.  125 

Reggio,  1.  15,  32 ;  ii.  63,  235,  294 

Renier.    See  Luzio 

Reumont,  A.,  Rom.,  ii.  266  n.,  312  n. 

Revere,  i.  26,  69 

Rhodes,  Island  of,  ii.  14 

Riario,  Cardinal,  i.  233 

Riccio,  Antonio,  i.  165 

Richelieu,  Cardinal,  ii.  390 

Richter,  D.,  i.  321  n. 

Rimini,  surrender  of,  i.  187 

Roberti,  Ercole,  i.  88  ;  employed  to 
decorate  the  halls  of  Belriguardo, 
12 ;  decoration  of  the  wedding 
chests,  14 

Rocca  di  Lonato,  the,  ii.  96 ;  di  Ser- 
mione,  98 

Rocco,  Fra,  the  Milanese  goldsmith, 
i.  14 

Rodolfo,  accident  to,  ii.  108 

Rodomonte,  Luigi,  ii.  148,  260 ; 
rescues  Isabella  Colonna,  308 ; 
secret  marriage,  308;  his  death, 

Rodomonte,  Vespasiano,  ii.  375 

Romagna,  Duke  of,  i.  230.     See  Borgia 

Romagna,  1.  112;  conquest  of,  187 

Romano,  Eccelino,  the  tyrant,  ii  145 

Romano,  Giovanni  Cristoforo,  i.  132; 
his  work  on  the  Certosa  of  Pavia, 
164 ;  his  bust  of  Beatrice,  164 ; 
marble  door  in  the  Grotta,  165; 
ii.  205 ;  busts  of  Isabella,  i.  165 ; 
portrait-medal,  166  ;  his  monument 
to  Suor  Osanna,  275 ;  on  the  birth 
of  Isabella's  second  son,  277 ;  in- 
curable malady,  ii.  1 ;  at  Milan,  2 ; 
on  Caradosso'a  bowl  and  inkstand, 
2;  in  Rome,  5,  7;  at  Naples,  12; 
his  medals,  13 ;  employed  to  re- 
build the  Campanile  of  Loreto,  13 ; 
death,  13 

Romano,  Giulio,  ii.  239,  245;  his 
monument  to  Castiglione,  271 ;  de- 
corations of  Mantua,  323 ;  freacoes 
of  the  story  of  Psyche,  325 ;  deco- 
rations at  the  Oastello,  336  ;  choice 
of  pictures,  338 ;  his  portrait  of 
Federico,  338 ;  on  erecting  a  bridge, 

Rome,  visits  to,  i.  181;  ii.  110,  116; 
fetes  in,  i.  195 ;  rising  of  the  Orsini, 
250 ;  outbreak  of  plague,  269 ;  ii. 
224,  269;  carnival  at,  70;  mas- 
querade, 71 ;  invasion  of  the  Im- 
perialists, 252 ;  siege,  258  ;  sack  of 
the  city,  259-262,  264 

Rosena,  i.  167 

Rossetti,  Biagio,  i.  57 ;  Ii.  371 

Rossi,  v.,  (Horn.,  i.  47  n. ;  Mutiea  in 
Urbino,  ii.  280  n. 

Rosso,  Castello,  i.  1 

Rothschild,  M.  Alphonse  de,  ii.  368 

Rovere,  Francesco  Maria  della,  i. 
229,  244;  heir  to  the  duchy  of 
Urbino,  259;  his  betrothal,  267; 
succeeds  to  the  duchy,  307.  Set 

Rovere,  Giovanni  della,  i.  329 



Rovere,  Giovanni    della,  Prefect  of 

Rome,  i.  40,  258 
Rovere,   Cardinal    Giuliano   della,   i. 

229,  255  ;  proclaimed  Pope,  258 
Rubens,    Peter    Paul,    his    copy    of 

Titian's  portrait  of  Isabella  d'Este, 

ii.  284  ;  of  Francia's  portrait,  356 
Rusca,  Conntess  Eleonora,  ii.  285 

Sabbioneta,  principality  of,  i.  37 
Sacchetta,  villa  of,  i.  279  ;  submerged, 

ii.  342 
Sadoleto,   ii.    166;    papal   secretary, 

247 ;  on  the  ruin  of  Rome,  270 
Sainte-Baume,     pilgrimage     to    the 
shrine  of  St.  Mary  Magdalene  at, 
ii.  133 
Salai,   i.    320,   326;    his   opinion   on 
Perugino's  picture,  335;  offers  his 
services,  336 
Salerno,  Prince  Ferrante  of,  ii.  317 
Salimbeni,  Antonio,  i.  75,  100 
Sal5,  i.  50;  ii.  100,  101,  363 
Saluzzo,  Marquis  of,  ii.  351 
Sancte,   Zohan  de.     See  Santi,  Gio- 
SanseVfcrino,  Antonio  Maria  di,  i.  154 
Sanseverino,     Cardinal     di,    i.     268 ; 

sponsor,  178 
Sanseverino,   Galeazzo  di,   i.   142 ;  ii. 
244 ;      controversy    with,     Isabella 
d'Este,    i.    76 ;     Grand    Ecuyer    de 
France,  296  ;  .^t  Muntpelier,  ii.  182 
Sanseverino,  Guspare  di,  50,  148 
Sanseverino,  Madonna  Margherita  di, 

i.  l.';4,  298 ;  ii.  2,  145 
Sansovino,  M.  Giacomo,  ii.  275 
Santi,  Giovanni,  his  portrait  of  Isa- 
bella d'Este,  i.  92;  death,  111 
Sanuto,  Marino,  i.  120,  136,  139,  141; 
on  the  arrival  of  Isabella  d'Este  in 
Venice,  ii.  234;   Diarii,  i.   146  n., 
149  n.,  197  n.,  204  n.,  222  n.,  225  n., 
240  n.,  263  n.;  ii.  55  n.,  123  «.,  131 
n.,  138  n.,  155  n.,  188  n.,  198  n., 
228  n.,  230  n.,  234  n.,  238  n.,  256 
n.,  263  n.,  264  n.,  266  n.,  268  n., 
296  n.,  308  n.,  319  n.,  323  n.,  326 
n.,  334  n.,  336  n.,  342  n„  343  n., 
349  n.,  351  n. 
Sarto,  Andrea  del,  ii.  245 
Savelli,  Cardinal,  i.  181 
Savoie,  Louise  de,  ii.  233,  293 
Savonarola,  his  Miserere,  i.  80 
Savoy,  Beatrice  of  Portugal,  Duchess 
of,   at  Bologna,   ii.    318;   her  ap- 
pearance, 319 ;  fete,  321 
Savoy,  Bona  of,  i.  33 
Savoy,  Charles,  Duke  of,  i.  297  ;  at  the 
coronation  of  Charles  V.,  ii.  313, 
315 ;  appearance,  319 

Sbernia  or  mantle,  i.  54 
Scala,  Isola  della,  ii.  32 
Scalona,  Battista,  i.    101,   347,  352; 

ii.  39 
Scarampa,  Camilla,  ii.  141 
Scartino,  i.  94 
Schifanoia  or  Sans  Souci,  L  12,  57; 

ii.  358 
Schinner,   Cardinal,   ii.    57,  194;  at 

Milan,  81 
Schivenoglia,      A.,      the      Mantuan 

Chronicler,  i.  5 ;  on  the  reception 

of    the    Marquis    of    Mantua,    5 ; 

Cronaca  di  Mantova,  30  n.;  on  the 

plague,  283 
Scodella  or  bowl,  ii.  368 
Scufiotti  or  caps,  ii.  366 
Sebastiano,  Church  of  S.,  i.  26  ;  ii.  59 
Sebastiano,   San,   palace  of,  i.    106, 

143,  287,  289 
Secchia,  river,  i.  59 
Secondo,   Jacopo  di  San,   the   viol- 
player,  i.  102 
Selvapiena,  i.  167 
Serafino,    Fra,    his    poems,    i.    170 ; 

sends    Isabella    d'Este   a    marble 

figure,  ii.  5 
Serassi,  Lettere  di  Castiglione,  i.  153  n., 

254  n.;  ii.  186  n.,  187  n.;  Lettere  di 

Ne(jozi,  192  n.,  195  n.,  210  n.,  231 

n.,236  n.,  238  n. 
Sermide,  i.  217 
Sermione,    i.   50;    ii.   97,    100,    107, 

363 ;  classic  gardens  of,  i.  50 
Serravalle,  Vicar  of,  i.  290 
Sesso,  Mes.ser  Carlo  da,  i.  188 
Sestola,   Girolamo    da,    his    singing 

lessons   to   Isabella  d'Este,  i.  86 ; 

on  the  visit  of  Titian  to  Mantua, 

ii.  171  ;   on  the  death  of  Ariosto, 

347  ;  his  letters  from  Ferrara,  358 
Sforza,  Anna,   i.  15  ;  her  marriage, 

55  :  entry  into  Ferrara,  57 ;  death, 

Sforza,  Cardinal  Ascanio,  i.  63,  155, 

Sforza,  Beatrice,  Duchess  of   Milan, 

birth  of  her  sons,  i.  65,  96,  114; 

sponsor,    105 ;    death,     140 ;    her 

bust,  164.     See  Milan 
Sforza,  Duchess  Bianca,  i.  31 
Sforza,  Bona,  i.  4,  40;  her  betrothal, 

ii.  114;  marriage,  114.     jSee  Milan 
Sforza,  Caterina,  i.  105 
Sforza,   Francesco,  ii.   66,   184 ;    his 

birth,  i.  114.     See  Milan 
Sforza,  Gianpaolo,  i.  374 
Sforza,  Giovanni,  lord  of  Pesaro,  hii 

betrothal,    i.    42 ;    marriage,    45 ; 

death  of  his  wife,  52 ;  dissolution 

of  his  second  marriage,  187;  flies 



to  Mantua,  187;  at  Milan,  235;  on 

the  death  of  the  Pope,  254 
Sforza,  Ippolita,  i.  374  ;  her  marriage, 

Sforza,  Lodovico,  i.  5 ;  his  betrothal, 

5  ;     wedding,   55 ;     sponsor,    105  ; 

proclaimed  Duke   of    Milan,    114. 

See  Milan 
Sforza,  Maximilian,  his  claims  to  the 

Duchy  of  Milan,  ii.  66.     See  Milan 
Sforza,  Tristan,  i.  83 
Shakespeare,  lines  from,  ii.  250 
Sicco,  Stefano,  i.  50 
Siena,  ii.  117,   255;   racea  at,  i.  63; 

attack  on,  244 
Sigismund,  Emperor,  at   Mantua,  i. 

20,  24 
Silvestri,  Frate  Francesco,  General  of 

the  Dominican  Order,  i.  79,  277  ;  on 

the  education  of  Federico  Gonzaga, 

276  ;  ii.  33  ;  at  Porto,  140 
Silvestri,  Guido,  ii.  51 
Sinigaglia,  ii.  244  ;    massacre  of,  i. 

Soardino,  Jacopo,  ii.  39 
Soardo,  Cavaliere,  ii.  144 
Soderini,  Madonna  Argentina,  i.  327 
Soderini,  Giovanni,  at  the  Congress 

of  Mantua,  ii.  65 
Soderini,  Gonfaloniere  Piero,  i.  274, 

Solari,    Cristoforo,    at    Mantua,    ii. 

139 ;    his    design   of    a   fountain, 

139 ;  death,  139 
Solarolo,  ii.  296;   administration  of, 

Solferino,  ii.  95 
Solmi,  Signer,  i.  321  n. 
Soranzo,   Ser   Piero,   at   Mantua,  ii. 

Soranzo,  Zuan,  i.  139 
Bordello,  Piazza,  ii.  131 
Soubise,   Madame  de,   ii.   288 ;     her 

influence   on  the  Duchess  Rende, 

Spagnoli,     Battista,     the     Mantuan 

Carmelite,  i.  79  ;  his  bust,  176 
Spain,  Queen  Isabella  of,  her  funeral, 

i.  268 
Sperandio,  i.  82 ;  his  medals,  12,  124 
Spice  Islands,  ii.  225 
Spinola,  Messer  Cristoforo,  i.  64 
Spoleto,  i.  196,  228 
Stabellino,  ii.  331  ;  on  the  return  of 

Isabella  d'Este's  portrait,  854 ;  his 

letters    from     Ferrara,     358 ;    on 

Tullia  of  Aragon,  384 
Stampa,  Count  Maximilian,  ii.  334 
Stanga,  Marchesino,  i.  64,  148,  164 
Stefano,  Prete,  ii.  130 
Stellata,  i.  218 

Stoppino,  Fra,  i.  2G5 

Strange,  Mr.  Guy  le,  i.  122 

Strascino,  ii.  149;  his  comic  recita- 
tions, 206  ;  farce,  388 

Strozza,  Agostino,  i.  334 ;  on  Peru- 
gino's  absence,  336 

Strozzi,  Ercole,  i.  129,  199,  272; 
murdered,  312;  his  epigram  on 
the  Sleeping  Cupid,  315 

Strozzi,  Giambattista,  on  the  dis- 
covery of  the  New  World,  i.  95 

Strozzi,  Guido,  his  wedding,  i.  98 

Strozzi,  Lorenzo,  ii.  81 

Strozzi,  Tito,  i.  98 

Strozzi,  Tommaso,  ii.  133,  144 

Suffolk,  Duke  of,  ii.  174,  175 

Sweating  sickness,  outbreak  of,  ii. 

Tahl  silk,  i.  121 

Tapestries,  i.  15,  17 

Taro,  battle  of  the,  i.  118 

Tasso,  Bernardo,  ii.  289  ;  his  Epitha- 
lamium,  333;  II  Libra  degli  Amori, 
347  ;  appointed  Governor  of 
Ostiglia,  348 

Tasso,  Torquato,  ii.  348 

Tfe,  meadows  of  the,  ii.  131  ;  palace, 
239,  377  ;  Piazza,  138 

Tebaldeo,  Antonio,  i.  81,  166,  313  ;  on 
Isabella  d'Este's  verses,  81 ;  his 
epitaph  on  Mattello,  134  ;  verses, 
ii.  87-91 

Tedaldo,  Castel,  i.  202 

Temistan,  ii.  225 

Teodora,  Madonna,  i.  144,  201 

Terence,  "  Andria,"  ii.  116 

Terni,  i.  196 

Testagrossa,  Angelo,  i.  129 ;  ii.  38, 

Thon,  De,  on  the  statue  of  Cupid,  i. 
233 ;  ii.  6 

Tiber,  statue  of  the  river-god,  ii.  60 

Titian,  his  portrait  of  Isabella  d'Este, 
i.  9  ;  ii.  284 ;  at  Mantua,  i.  391  ;  ii. 
171,  227;  his  pictures,  227,  228, 
229,  327-330,  339 ;  commissions, 
327  ;  death  of  his  wife,  327  ;  on 
the  marriage  of  the  Duke  of  Man- 
tua, 333  ;  his  portrait  of  Federico, 
339  ;  of  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of 
Urbino,  375  ;  copies  Francia's  por- 
trait of  Isabella,  353-356 

Toledo,  Don  Pedro  de,  at  the  corona- 
tion of  Charles  V.,  ii.  315 

Tonso,  Benedetto,  ii.  203 

Torelli,  Barbara,  murder  of  her 
husband,  i.  312 

Torelli,  Ippolita,  her  marriage,  ii.  131 ; 
birth  of  a  son,  146 

Torre,  Amico  della,  ii.  131 



Torre,  Marco  della,  ii.  2 

Tortosa,  Cardinal  of,  elected  Pope,  ii. 

Tosabezzi,  Benedetto,  i.  164  ;  receives 
notice  to  leave  Milan,  189 

Toscana,  Eaffaelle,  his  poem  on  the 
Studio  of  the  Grotta,  i.  158 

Tovaglia,  Angelo  del,  sketch  of  his 
house,  i.  318 ;  letter  from  Isabella 
d'Este,  323 

Tremoglia,  M.,  i.  257 

Tremoli,  Duca  di,  ii.  308 

Tr^mouille,  La,  i.  250 ;  ii.  244  ;  de- 
feated at  Novara,  93 

Trent,  Bishop  of,  ii.  313 

Trent,  ii.  326 

Trevisano,  Franceschino,  i.  219 

Trevisano,  M.  Niccolo,  i.  219 

Triboulet,  the  court-jester,  ii.  130 ; 
portrait  of,  41 

Tricarico,  M.,  ii.  160 

Tridapale,  Giovanni  Francesco,  secre- 
tary to  Isabella  d'Este,  ii.  243  ;  on 
the  quintain  races,  291 

Tripalda,  Marchese,  his  wedding,  ii. 

Trissino,  Giangiorgio,  on  the  appear- 
ance of  Isabella  d'Este,  i.  9  ;  on 
the  sweetness  of  her  voice,  11  ;  his 
Ritratti,  ii.  102-105;  at  Mantua, 
138,  212 ;  on  the  tyrant  Eccelino 
Romano,  145 ;  sends  Isabella  a 
canzone,  210  ;  at  Bologna,  304  ;  oq 
the  state  of  his  garden  at  Cricoli, 

Trivulzio,  Gian  Giacomo,  i.  156,  298  ; 
his  advance  to  the  relief  of  the  Duke 
of  Ferrara,  ii.  51  ;  seizes  Bologna, 
52  ;  defeated  at  Novara,  93 

Trivulzio,  Messer  Teodora  di,  i.  238 

Trotti,  Ferrarese  envoy  and  agent,  1. 
55,81;  ii.  21 

Trotti,  Brandelisio,  i.  62;  on  Isabella 
d'Este's  departure,  51 

Trovaso,  San,  i.  98 

Tiibingen,  University  of,  i.  33 

Tucca,  Messer  Giovanni,  secretary  to 
Alfonso  d'Avalos,  ii.  352 

Tnra,  Cosimo,  his  portrait  of  Isabella 
d'Este,  i.  4;  frescoes,  12 

Tuscany,  conquest  of,  i.  244 

Tuscullano,  i.  50  ;  ii.  101 

Tuttavilla,  Girolamo,  i.  64 

Tyande,  M.  de,  ii.  39 

Tyrol,  Alps  of,  i.  22 

T^one,  ii.  177 

Ubebti,  Lodovico,  i.  105 
Umbria,  i.  236 

Urbino,  Elisabetta  Gonzaga,  Duchess 
of,  attachment  to  her  home,  i.  44 ; 
VOL.  II, 

ill-health,  45 ;  appearance,  45 ; 
affection  for  Isabella,  48,  101 ; 
character,  49  ;  death  of  her  sisters, 
52,  253 ;  illness,  67,  68  ;  postpone- 
ment of  her  visit  to  Mantua, 
67-69;  reception,  69;  return  to 
Urbino,  106,  128,  259  ;  at  Gubbio, 
109 ;  on  the  death  of  Giovanni 
Santi,  111  ;  at  Mantua,  124,  140, 
224 ;  on  her  visit  to  Rome,  180,  301  ; 
reception  of  Lucrezia  Borgia,  196  ; 
costume,  204 ;  visits  to  Venice, 
217-224,  240  ;  at  Porto,  227 ;  straits 
for  money,  240  ;  visit  of  the  Roman 
court,  302 ;  death  of  her  husband, 
307 ;  grief,  308  ;  intercession  for 
Francesco  Mantegna,  370 ;  her  por- 
trait,'39'2;  attack  of  gout,  ii.  36; 
on  the  conduct  of  Tebaldo,  91  ; 
audience  with  Leo  X.,  126;  exiled 
for  the  second  time,  128;  allow- 
ance, 129  ;  her  death,  249  ;  tributes 
to  her  memory,  250 

Urbino,  Federico,  Duke  of,  i.  4,  15, 

Urbino,  Francesco  Maria,  Duke  of, 
succeeds  to  the  title,  i.  307 ;  at 
Mantua,  309;  meeting  with  Leo- 
nora, 310;  violent  temper,  311; 
presents  to  Isabella,  311 ;  in  com- 
mand of  the  papal  forces,  380 ; 
summoned  to  lead  the  troops 
against  Ravenna,  ii.  35 ;  at  Rome, 
42 ;  murders  Cardinal  Alidosi,  52 ; 
biton  of  Papal  Gonfaloniere  with- 
drawn, 125 ;  summoned  to  Rome, 
126  ;  charges  against,  126  ;  excom- 
municated and  deprived  of  his 
states,  127;  at  Pietola,  127;  per- 
mitted to  reside  at  Mantua,  129; 
attempt  to  recover  his  dominions, 
132 ;  terms  with  Francis  I.,  132 ; 
forced  to  leave  Mantua,  189;  at 
Verona,  190  ;  Magnzano,  191 ;  re- 
storation, 192 ;  proposed  marriage 
of  his  son,  198;  affection  for  his 
aunt  Isabella,  201 ;  appointed 
General  of  the  Venetian  army,  231, 
251,374;  takes  Cremona,  351 ;  in- 
capacity, 265 ;  entry  into  Urbino, 
313 ;  at  the  coronation  of  Charles 
v.,  315;  his  portrait,  375;  death, 

Urbino,  Guidobaldo,  Duke  of,  i.  40 ; 
his  tapestries,  17 ;  his  betrothal, 
42  ;  appearance  and  character,  44 ; 
illness,  68 ;  at  Gubbio,  109 ;  his 
reception  of  Lucrezia  Borgia,  196  ; 
flight  to  Mantua,  229  ;  at  Milan, 
235  ;  forced  to  leave  Mantua,  240  ; 
at  Venice,  240 ;  attempt  to  recover 




his  throne,  241 ;  attack  of  illness, 
241 ;  return  to  Urbino,  254 ;  ap- 
pointed Oaptain-general  of  the 
Church,  258 ;  Order  of  the  Garter 
conferred,  270 ;  his  death,  306 ; 
requiem  mass,  307 

Urbino,  Signor  Guidobaldo,  ii.  127  ; 
his  proposed  marriage,  198 ;  hos- 
tage, 200  ;  his  marriage,  366 

Urbino,  Leonora,  Duchess  of,  birth 
of  a  son,  ii.  29  ;  at  Rome,  42 ;  char- 
acter, 43  ;  at  Bologna,  313 ;  her 
beauty,  313,  319 ;  birth  of  her  son 
Giulio,  365 ;  marriage  of  her  son 
Guidobaldo,  366  ;  at  Mantua,  374  ; 
portrait,  375;  death  of  her  hus- 
band, 375 

Urbino,  Raphael  of,  his  dealings  with 
Isabella  d'Este,  ii.  274-276 

Urbino,  Duchy  of,  seizure,  i.  228 ; 
annexed  to  the  Papal  States,  ii.  160 

Urbino,  palace  of,  i.  110  ;  plays,  264 ; 
manufacture  of  majolica,  ii.  367 

Vaila,  defeat  at,  ii.  31 

Valentino,  Duke,  i.  179.     See  Borgia 

Valentinois,  Duke  of,  i,  152 

Valeric,  Messer  Carlo,  i.  223,  290 

Valerio,  Zuan,  i.  272,  354 ;  ii.  369  ;  at 
Bologna,  305 

Valtelline  Alps,  i.  155 

Varana,  Giulia,  her  marriage,  ii.  366 

Varana,  Maria,  i.  311 

Varese,  Frate  Raphael  da,  i.  222 

Vasari,  on  Leonardo  da  Vinci's  car- 
toon, i.  320 ;  his  estimate  of  Peru- 
gino,  337;  on  Costa's  portraits, 
377;  on  the  comedy  "Calandria," 
ii.  113;  on  Raphael's  portrait  of 
Leo  X.,  245  ;  on  the  masquerades 
at  Mantua,  350 

Vasto,  Marchese  del,  ii.  311,  323 ; 
invested  with  the  Order  of  the 
Golden  Fleece,  350 ;  letter  from 
Isabella  d'Este,  352 

Velletri,  ii.  269 

Venetians,  defeat  at  Vaila,  ii.  31 ; 
recover  Padua,  32;  senators,  em- 
bassy of,  311 

Venice,  war  with,  i.  5 ;  Ascension- 
tide fetes,  97 ;  ii.  188,  234 ;  espousals 
of,  with  the  sea,  i.  100 ;  rejoicings 
at,  121 ;  armistice  and  treaty  with 
France,  138,  151;  visits  to,  218; 
ii.  228,  234,  326,  344,  346 ;  sights 
of,  i.  220;  absolution  of,  ii.  42 

Venice,  Correr  Museum  at,  ii.  368 

Venice,  Doge  of,  sponsor,  i.  105 

Venier,  Domenico,  ii.  247 ;  taken 
prisoner,  263;  his  ransom,  263; 
at  Mantua,  268 ;  escape,  268 

Venier,  Marco  Antonio,  ii.  324 

Venturi,  A.,  Archivio  St.  d.  Arte,  i. 
375  n. ;  ii.  2  n.,  10  n. ;  on  Cara- 
dosso's  inkstand,  4  n. 

Venus,  torso  of,  i.  230 

Vercelli,  Bishop  of,  ii.  336 

Vercelli,  i.  123 

Verdelino,  Abbey  of,  ii.  180 

Vergerio,  Paolo,  De  Educando  Liberit, 
i.  174 

Verona,  Colombino  of,  i.  41 

Verona,  i.  101,  142,  224;  ii.  32, 

Vettori,  Francesco,  Storia  d^ Italia,  ii. 
67  n. 

Viana,  i.  261 

Vianello,  Michele,  i.  341 ;  correspon- 
dence on  Giovanni  Bellini,  342- 
347 ;  death,  360 ;  sale  of  his  cabin- 
etto,  360 

Viani,  the  architect,  ii.  204 

Vicenza,  i.  101 ;  ii.  32 

Vicovaro,  ii.  375 

Vigevano,  i.  58 ;  taken  by  the  French, 
ii.  232 

Vigilio,  Francesco,  i.  186 ;  his  comedy, 
262 ;  tutor  to  Federico,  ii.  45 ;  on 
his  progress,  121-123 ;  funeral  ora- 
tion on  the  Marquis  of  Mantua, 

Vincenzo  II.,  Duke,  sells  his  collection 
of  pictures  to  Charles  I.,  i.  162  ;  ii. 

Vincenzo,  Dominican  Convent  of  S., 
i.  263 

Vinci,  Leonardo  da,  i.  132,  155,  170 ; 
portrait  of  Isabella  d'Este,  171  ; 
his  study  of  hydraulics,  279 ;  at 
Milan,  296,  327;  sketch  of  the 
house  of  Angelo  del  Tovaglia,  318  ; 
his  cartoons,  319,  320,  323 ;  ab- 
sorption in  geometrical  studies, 
320  ;  on  Lorenzo  dei  Medici's  vases, 
322;  letters  from  Isabella,  324, 
325 ;  at  Fiesole,  326  ;  his  portrait 
of  Cecilia  Gallerani,  341 

Violante,  Madonna,  i.  310 

Virgil,  his  birthplace,  i.  22 ;  erection 
of  a  statue  to,  173-176 

Visconti,  Messer  Antonio,  i.  130 

Visconti,  Filippo,  Duke  of  Milan,  i. 

Visconti,  Francesco  Bernardino,  L 

Visconti,  Gasparo,  i.  84 

Vite,  Timoteo,  ii.  368 

Vitellozzo,  murdered,  i.  244 

Viterbo,  Cardinal  Egidio  of,  i.  255 

Viterbo,  Sister  Lucia  of,  i.  207 

Viterbo,  ii.  255 ;  battles  of,  i.  67 ; 
French  army  at,  265 



Waagen,  Dr.,  Kunstwerke  in  England, 

ii.  162  n. 
Whitehall,    tournament    at,  ii.   175; 

banquet,  175 
Wolsey,  Cardinal,  ii.  174 
World,    discovery    of    the    New,    i. 

Wiirtemberg,   Count  Eberhard   von, 

founder     of     the     University     of 

Tubingen,  i.  33 
Wnrtemberg,  Duke  of,  ii.  312 

Yriarte,  Charles,  i.  171,  Oazette  des  B. 
Arts,  159  n.,  162  n.,  327  n.,  329  n., 
342  n.,  356  n.,  361  n.,  372  n. ;  ii.  20  n., 
39  n. ;  Isabella  d'Este,  i.  101  n. ;  his 
model  of  Isabella  d'Este's  Studio, 
ii.  206  71. 

Zaccaria,  Church  of  S.,  i.  100 
Zambotto,  Oronaca,  i.  206  n, 
Zampeluna,  ii.  5 
Zaninello,  Giaufrancesco,  his  gift  to 

Isabella  d'Este,  i.  387  ;  presented 

\7ith  her  portrait,  388 ;  lends  the 

portrait  to  be  copied  by  Titian,  ii. 

Zeeland,  ii.  177, 182 
Zeno,   Church  of  S.,  at  Lonato,  ii. 

Ziliolo,  Bartolomeo,  ii.  366  ;  commis 

sion  from  Isabella  d'Este,  i.  72 
Zoccolanti,  Convent,  i.  229 
Zoiosa,  Casa,  or  Maison  Joyeute,  i.  21 
Zoppo,  M.  Paolo,  i.  354,  356 
Zorzi,    Marino,    his     description    of 

Cardinal  Sigismondo,  ii.  194 
Zucchetti,  Lucrezia  Boryia,  ii.  158  n. 



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